Asian Shares Mostly Decline as Syria Strike Looks More Likely


Asian stocks mostly eased as a possible strike on Syria looks more likely.

On Wednesday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner backed President Barack Obama's call for action against Syria.

Around the region, Markit/HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China climbed to 52.8 in August after seasonal adjustments, up from July's 51.3 and the highest since March.

Australia's GDP rose 0.6% in Q2, or 2.6% compared to the year-earlier quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported. In the January-March period, GDP rose 0.6%, or 2.5% from a year earlier, matching estimates from a Reuters survey of economists.

The Bank of Japan started its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. General expectations are for the BOJ to keep rates steady.

Shares of big Chinese paper makers registered gains for a second day after the Chinese government indicated it was in favor of reforming the industry to reduce overcapacity.

In ADR news, Canon ( CAJ ) says it will buy back up to 18 million of its shares, or about 1.6% of outstanding shares, for as much as 50 billion yen ($502 million). The buybacks will take place between Sept. 4 and Nov. 1.

News Corp ( NWSA ) sold a collection of community newspapers called the Dow Jones Local Media Group to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC for an undisclosed amount.

China Information Technology ( CNIT ) says its wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary, Information Security Technology (China) Co., Ltd. entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement with Biznest Internet & Software Co., Ltd., effective as of September 2. During the three-year term under the agreement, Biznest will build a cloud information platform (named CNIT Public InfoPlatform) for the company to serve as the data storage and exchange and cloud computing base for all cloud-based products of the company. Biznest will take charge of the hardware construction, software development and system maintenance, while the company will be responsible for the Platform's management, operation and product sales and marketing. In addition, IST will have the sole distributorship and naming rights for other internet-based hardware and software products developed by Biznest.

China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC ) says its Board of Directors has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter from NewQuest Capital Partners to buy CHC for $0.99 in cash per ordinary share or $2.97 in cash per ADS.

The Nikkei rose 0.54% to 14,053.87, the Hang Seng dropped 0.31% to 22,326.22 and the Straits Times was down 1.29% at 3,015.42.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: CAJ , CHC , CNIT , NWSA

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