ASIA MARKETS: Japan Stocks Tumble After Weak China Data

By Dow Jones Business News, 

By Laura He, MarketWatch

Hong Kong stocks buck the weaker trend as HSBC advances

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Japanese stocks on Tuesday tumbled to their weakest closing level in more than a week, after HSBC'sChina services purchasing manufacturers' index fell to record low.

The Nikkei Average lost 1% to end at 15,320.31, leading the region's weaker trend. The benchmark index has fallen for a fourth day in a row. The broader Topix index also finished down 1%, while the yen (USDJPY) was little changed at Yen102.58 from Yen102.55 in the previous session.

The HSBC China services Purchasing Managers' Index in July dropped to 50.0 from 53.1 in June, marking the lowest reading since November 2005 when the bank started releasing the data. Earlier, China's official nonmanufacturing PMI also fell, to 54.2 in July from 55.0 in June.

In Japan's markets, top underperformers included IT services provider Fujitsu , sliding 3.2%, semiconductor company Renesas Electronics Corp. , declining 2.3%, electronics giant Sharp Corp. , down 1.9%, and auto maker Mazda Motor , off 1.7%.

On the Chinese mainland, Shanghai stocks also headed lower after the weak Chinese services PMI, as the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.2%. It rallied 1.7% in the previous day.

Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.4%, and South Korea's Kospi Composite Index gave up 0.7%.

However, Hong Kong stocks managed to end in positive territory, with the Hang Seng Index edging up 0.2% at the close.

Index heavyweight HSBC Holdings advanced 1.8%, after its first-half earnings came roughly in line with market expectations.

Meanwhile, the world's largest pork producer, WH Group , surged 7.4% on its trading debut, after having previously pulled its IPO only to relaunch it with a lower valuation price.

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This article appears in: US Markets , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: 0WH , 6702 , 6723 , 6753 , 7261

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