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Jul 11, 2011

MarketWatch | Asia Markets: dive on euro-zone jitters Stocks track U.S. losses on fear of new European debt problems:



By Virginia Harrison and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch 

TAIPEI (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong led a sharp slide in Asia markets Tuesday, as fresh fears about the spread of Europe’s debt crisis rattled investors, with financial stocks among the hardest hit.
The Hang Seng Index HK:HSI -1.99%  tumbled 2%, and the Shanghai Composite CN:000001 -1.26%  lost 1.3%.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:NIK -1.42%  dropped 1.4% in afternoon trading, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index AU:XJO -1.91%  lost 1.9%, South Korea’s Kospi KR:0100 -2.12%  skidded 2% and Taiwan’s Taiex declined 1.9%. 

“There’s a lot of offshore fear about European debt contagion. It’s layer on top of layer now of uncertainty in Europe,” said Peter Esho, chief market analyst at City Index in Sydney.
“The [European Central Bank] can’t manage to address even short-term issues, while things in the pipeline keep emerging, and all that really weighs on market sentiment,” he said. 

U.S. stocks slumped overnight as the next wave of the European sovereign-debt crisis threatened to engulf Italy and Spain, and prompted a surge in bond yields. Read more on European leaders pressured by rising Italy bond yields 
 
Eurogroup finance ministers said Monday they were ready to adopt further measures to ensure Greece’s sovereign-debt crisis does not spread to other parts of the European Union. See report on latest Eurogroup statement about debt crisis.
“Investor confidence remains quite shaky,” Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia, adding that the strength of U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen is leading investors to unwind their long positions in the commodity and equity markets.
“I think this will trigger some fund outflows. ... Previously, because of the strong euro and the weak U.S. dollar, funds were flowing into these [stock and commodity] markets. But it seems that the trend has reversed now,” said Kwong. 

Financial stocks again bore the brunt of the sell-off.
In Tokyo, Shinsei Bank Ltd. JP:8303 -4.65%   SKLKF -2.30%  plunged 4.7% and Nomura Holdings Inc. JP:8604 -2.76% NRSCF -3.19%  lost 3%. 

Macquarie Group Ltd. AU:MQG -5.56%   MQBKY -4.82%  tumbled 5.2% and National Australia Bank Ltd. AU:NAB -3.31%   NABZY -2.91%  shed 3.3% in Sydney. In Hong Kong, Bank of China Ltd. HK:3988 -2.76%   BACHY -3.38%   dropped 2.8% and Bank of Communications Co. HK:3328 -2.06%   BKFCF -5.10%  lost 2.4%. 

 
BSkyB bid sent to competition panel The U.K. government refers News Corp.'s bid for BSkyB to the Competition Commission, a regulatory setback to the media company in the wake of the phone-hacking allegations that brought down its News of the World tabloid. 


Concerns over the future of Chinese monetary tightening also weighed on many property shares in Hong Kong, with China Resources Land Ltd. HK:1109 -4.43%  diving 4.2%, and Hang Lung Properties Ltd. HK:101 -3.88%   HLPPY -3.81% fell 3.4%.  
Meanwhile, a slide in commodities overnight sent resources stocks lower, with Hong Kong-traded shares of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco HK:2600 -3.32%   ACH -2.58%   down 3.3%, and Angang Steel Co. ANGGF -0.97%   off by 2.8%.

Exporters

With European debt concerns rising , the euro weakened against the yen EURJPY -0.72%  — tumbling to ¥111.84 midday Tuesday in Asia from its ¥114.90 level at the end of last week — amid the fresh debt woes, dragging Japanese exporters lower. 

Sony Corp. JP:6758 -3.00%   SNE -0.89%  dropped 2.9%, and Canon Inc. JP:7751 -1.81%   CAJ -2.14% was off by 1.7%, shrugging off a report that showed sentiment for Japanese manufacturers returning to positive territory for the first time since the massive earthquake in March. Read more on Japanese business sentiment. 
 
The lack of resolution in the U.S. debt-ceiling talks added to the uncertainty over the broader global economy. Read more on the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations
“When you put all these things together, the market gets very nervous and weighs on equities,” said City Index’s Esho. 

In Hong Kong, Esprit Holdings Ltd. HK:330 -4.74%   ESHDF +2.24%  dropped 4.7%, and Lenovo Group Ltd. HK:992 -1.91%   LNVGF -1.65%   gave up 2.3%. 

Export-focused firms were also softer in Sydney trading, with iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. AU:FMG -3.16%   FSUMF -0.44%  down 3.2%, and BlueScope Steel Ltd. AU:BSL -3.57%   BLSFF +7.41%  extending losses from the previous session to trade 4.6% lower. 

Bucking the broader trend was Marcarthur Coal Ltd. AU:MCC +36.87%   MACDY +30.13% , with shares soaring 37.0% after Peabody Energy Corp. BTU -3.52%  and ArcelorMittal MT -4.39%  made a 4.7 billion Australian dollar ($4.9 billion) bid for the Australia’s coal-miner. Read more on the takeover bid for Marcarthur Coal. 
 
Shares in News Corp. NWS -7.10%   AU:NWS -4.40%  fell 4.5% as the News of the World phone-hacking scandal continued to weigh on the stock and to stymie the company’s efforts to take full ownership of television broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC UK:BSY -4.60% .
News Corp. is the owner of MarketWatch, the publisher of this report. 

Virginia Harrison is a MarketWatch reporter based in Sydney. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.

The Australian Business Briefing: Macarthur fires up 37pc





Macarthur fires up 37pc
Macarthur Coal Michael Bennet MACARTHUR Coal surged 37 per cent after Peabody's $4.7 billion bid, sparking a broader rally among coal stocks.
Business confidence falls: NAB
Shadows Geoffrey Rogow BUSINESS confidence in nearly every sector except mining has eroded while the Australian economy struggles to grain traction.
Alcoa profit at low end
Alcoa James R. Hagerty ALCOA'S net income more than doubled in Q2, but the aluminium giant only managed to meet analysts' lowered forecasts.
Stocks slide deeper into the red
ASX THE Australian sharemarket plunged further into the red by early afternoon following concerns over the European and US debt crisis.
Italy heightens contagion fears
110712 Italy, Leaning tower of Pisa, European debt crisis Sam Fleming THE euro slid and global stocks crumbled as Italy showed increasing signs of succumbing to the sovereign debt contagion.
Obama pushes painful debt deal
US-POLITICS-OBAMA BARACK Obama has pressed his Republican foes to accept a painful compromise on US debt.
Qantas, Virgin to charge more
Qantas, Virgin Blue Steve Creedy QANTAS and Virgin Australia say they will have to pass on the millions of dollars in extra costs to their customers.
Home owners will pay more
For Sale Tracy Lee CONSTRUCTION materials companies warn the carbon tax could make houses less affordable as higher costs are passed on to home buyers.
Financial Markets
Stocks slide deeper into the red
ASX THE Australian sharemarket plunged further into the red by early afternoon following concerns over the European and US debt crisis.
Stocks slump on weak lead
Business confidence falls: NAB
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
$5bn coal bid 'endorses' new tax: Gillard
Peabody Energy CEO Gregory Boyce Ben Packham and Joe Kelly JULIA Gillard has seized on a $4.7 billion coal takeover bid as proof of the industry's ongoing viability under a carbon tax.
Beach dealing with Holdfast well
Alcoa profit at low end
More Mining & Energy

The Australian Capital Circle: Reality check for Labor as carbon warfare unfolds.

Capital Circle Newsletter
Reality check for Labor as carbon warfare unfolds
 
The latest Newspoll numbers the show task ahead as Gillard takes her carbon tax to the people

Diary: Julia Gillard is in Melbourne. She's done a string of radio interviews, including one with 3AW's Neil Mitchell. She has a mid-morning event planned in Melbourne, and possibly another later today.
Tony Abbott is in Victoria "talking to workers about Labor's toxic carbon tax".
Newspoll: The latest Newspoll numbers are a reality check for Labor MPs. While the poll was conducted before the carbon tax was announced, it underlines the massive task facing Julia Gillard and her party in selling the carbon tax. Support for Labor has slumped to a record low 27 per cent and primary support for the Coalition to 49 per cent its highest level since 2001. A special carbon tax question found that, without all the detail, just 30 per cent of Australians support the plan and 59 per cent are opposed.
Report card: After day one of the carbon tax sales pitch, Labor is cautiously optimistic. Julia Gillard entered the "lions den" of Western Sydney - although she avoided the carnivorous Alan Jones - and managed not to get eaten alive. Insiders reckon that's no mean feat, considering the public mood out there. They also point to more than 100 interviews by Labor frontbenchers yesterday in which they managed not to contradict each other. But, as the Daily Telegraph helpfully points out , the cards were stacked in Gillard's favour when she stopped in on the only carbon tax supporter in an entire Emu Plains Street. The Tele also has been kind enough to publish a photo of the PM's shoes, which she's promised to wear out selling her tax. The PM was on Q&A last night. She was on top of the detail but faced a sceptical audience.
The Coalition is more confident. "Our biggest problem is there are too many ways to attack
Read more...
 
Mumble
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
 
Gillard’s mistake: from ETS to carbon tax
The Coalition and Labor both took emissions trading schemes to the 2007 federal election. It was action on climate change, and that made it popular.…

The Australian Business Briefing: Companies say home owners will pay more






Wall St dives on Italy worries
Wall St Brendan Conway US stocks slumped this morning, as another round of anxiety over Europe's debt crisis spurred investors to flee risky assets like stocks.
Alcoa profit more than doubles
Alcoa Joan E. Solsman ALCOA'S second-quarter earnings surged more than twofold on continued growth in prices and volume.
Macarthur in play again
Macarthur Coal Sarah-Jane Tasker and Matt Chambers US mining giant Peabody Energy has launched a $4.7 billion bid for Queensland's Macarthur Coal a day after the carbon tax was announced.
Qantas, Virgin to pass on fuel hikes
Qantas, Virgin Blue Steve Creedy QANTAS and Virgin Australia say they will have to pass on the millions of dollars in extra costs to their customers.
Companies say home owners will pay more
For Sale Tracy Lee CONSTRUCTION materials companies warn the carbon tax could make houses less affordable as higher costs are passed on to home buyers.
Forrest warns on iron ore prices
110712 twiggy Matt Chambers MINING billionaire Andrew Forrest expects iron ore supply to overtake demand, possibly lowering prices in the short and medium term.
Road and rail groups big losers
QR National Tracy Lee RAIL and road transport groups will lose more than half a billion dollars in fuel rebates from 2014 under the carbon tax.
Local miners to look offshore
Australia Carbon Tax Sarah-Jane Tasker and Matt Chambers NEW global mining frontiers will benefit from Australia's carbon tax, with local miners to increase their focus offshore.
Financial Markets
Oil falls on poor demand signs
Oil Dan Strumpf CRUDE-oil futures sank this morning on Europe's mounting debt crisis and signs of weakening crude-oil demand from China.
Gold hits record in euro terms
Wall St dives on Italy worries
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Macarthur in play again
Macarthur Coal Sarah-Jane Tasker and Matt Chambers US mining giant Peabody Energy has launched a $4.7 billion bid for Queensland's Macarthur Coal a day after the carbon tax was announced.
Forrest warns on iron ore prices
Mineral to target small mills
More Mining & Energy

Reuters - Technology Report: Target to sell new electronic reader


News
Apple has kicked its intellectual property dispute with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC up a notch. The company filed a new complaint against HTC with a U.S. trade panel over some of its portable electronic devices and software, according to the panel’s website. Apple filed a similar action against the company last year and could be trying to strengthen the case against its rival by adding new patents to its claim this time around, notes AllThingD’s John Paczkowski. “It’s another broad warning to the industry,” he writes.“If you’re bringing a new smartphone to market, you had better make damn sure it doesn’t infringe on Apple’s IP.”

The first e-reader to fully integrate Google’s eBooks platform into its design goes on sale exclusively at Target stores across the U.S. next weekend, Google said in a blog post. The iRiver Story HD lets users buy and read e-books from the service over Wi-Fi and store their personal collections in the cloud. Google offers more than 3 million free titles for download through its eBooks service, with hundreds of thousands more for sale.

LinkedIn, the online networking website aimed at professionals, surpassed Myspace in June to become the second-most popular social network in the United States, according to a new survey from comScore. Just how much more popular is LinkedIn now? According to the figures, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors in June, a jump of about a half a million from May. Myspace, on the other hand, saw its traffic decline to 33.5 million American visitors, a drop of about 1.4 million users from the previous month.

Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion and three other leading tech companies received court approval to buy wireless patents from bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp for $4.5 billion. A total of 6,000 patents and applications were included in the sale and fetched three times what some analysts expected from the auction in June.