By Dow Jones Business News,
January 23, 2014, 10:45:00 PM EDT
Asian markets edged lower Friday, but failed to follow through on the large declines seen in other global emerging
markets overnight sparked by anxiety about the ability of developing nations to prop up their economies.
The biggest impact was in Japan, where the shift away from riskier assets toward safe havens resulted in a sharp boost
for the yen overnight and pushing the Tokyo stock market down 1.5%.
A disappointing report on Chinese manufacturing on Thursday rippled through the global day prompting investors to move
out of risky assets--especially emerging market currencies, with the Argentine currency suffering double-digit
percentage losses and falling the most in more than a decade. Wall Street took a tumble too, as the Dow Jones Industrial
Average ended Thursday 1.1% lower.
In China, the effect of the poor manufacturing data was still evident, but the losses were moderate. Hong Kong's Hang
Seng Index lost 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite was 0.1% lower.
The greenback picked up a touch in Asian trade and was last at Yen103.53, compared with Yen103.28 late Thursday in New
York, but it remained significantly below where it was in late Asian trade Thursday.
Japanese stocks lost ground as some exporters were pulled down by the firmer yen. Hitachi lost 2.8% and Panasonic
Corp. 2.6% was lower.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 0.5%, Australia's S&PASX 200 was down less than 0.1%, and
South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7%.
In addition to Thursday's HSBC's preliminary manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for January, which indicated a
contraction in manufacturing, there have been additional signs of weakness in China. Data out at the beginning of the
week showed that growth in world's second-largest economy had slowed in the fourth quarter.
Concerns over the Chinese economy, along with a resumption of the domestic initial public offering market after a more
than one-year moratorium, have led to a poor performance for stocks in China so far this year, with the Shanghai
Composite down 3.3% year-to-date.
A liquidity injection into the Chinese financial system however gave Shanghai a boost earlier in the week, while a
stronger yen has led to declines in Japan--putting Tokyo at the bottom for Asia. The Nikkei is now down 5.1% year-to-
In corporate news, Lenovo Group jumped 6.4% higher in Hong Kong after the Chinese PC-maker said on Thursday that it
had agreed that to buy part of IBM's server business for $2.3 billion--the largest ever technology acquisition by a
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