In Hong Kong, declines in China's stock markets weighed on Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies, sending Hong Kong's benchmark index slightly lower Thursday. Tokyo share prices ended more than 3% lower, weighed down by ongoing economic concerns. Shanghai stocks plummeted 3.87 per cent due to profit-taking in financial companies. South Korean stocks closed down 1.15 per cent and the shares prices in Singapore rose 0.04 percent.
Today Tokyo stocks rebounded modestly following a decline on Thursday. Hong Kong shares also started slightly higher on Friday led by HSBC which is likely to extend its rally into a third straight session ahead of its earnings next week.
Asia Economy Watch
Latest official data shows that Japanese industrial output plunged by a record 10% in January. This is evidence that the country's worst recession in decades is intensifying as the global economic crisis hurts demand for its exports.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the nation's unemployment rate could rise to 5% this year, but the government is prepared to take further stimulus measures if needed.
China's economy will continue to be hurt by weaker confidence and the threat of protectionism, and the slowdown in growth won't hit bottom until after the first quarter, the China's vice commerce minister said.
Australian listed Environmental Clean Technologies (ASX:ESI) have signed their biggest deal with the Vietnam based Thang Long Investment and Commercial Joint Stock Company to establish a plant for the production of up to 20 million tonnes per annum of Codlry, a black coal substitute, over the next 30 years. Investment in the project is anticipated to be as high as A$6 billion dollars.
Panasonic Corp. (TYO:6752) is poised to announce a delay in its planned takeover of Sanyo Electric Co. (TYO:6764) until around the summer of this year. Panasonic was widely expected to launch a tender offer by the end of March.
Chinese insurance regulatory has confirmed China Life Insurance (SHA:601628)(HKG:2628) is in talks with New York-based insurance giant American International Group about buying its Asian unit. Senior executives of AIG have visited China recently to look for buyers for its Asian subsidiary.
It is reportedly that the Industrial Bank of Korea (SEO:024110) said Friday it has reached a Y20 billion currency swap agreement with Japan's Mitsui Sumitomo Banking Corp. to boost foreign-currency liquidity.
Japan's Oji Paper Co. (TYO:3861) will suspend two of the four papermaking machines at its Kushiro mill by the end of next month, slashing companywide capacity by about 5%.
Japanese cable music broadcaster Usen Corp. (NJM:4842) said yesterday that it will raise 3.9 billion yen by issuing preferred shares, less than the 5 billion yen it targeted earlier.
South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. (SEO:066570) said Friday the International Trade Commission has ruled in favor of the company in a patent dispute with Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR). The company said the judge's ruling reaffirms LG's strong position in the U.S. appliance industry.
(Part of the information above is contributed by CMC Markets. For further details, please visit http://www.cmcmarkets.com.au )
Yaskawa Electric Corporation
Oji Paper Co., Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Industrial Bank of Korea
Environmental Clean Technologies Ltd
China Life Insurance Company Limited
American International Group, Inc.