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Asian Shares Decline, Japan Opens Year Lower

Asian stocks fell, with Japan sinking on its first trading day of the year.

Japanese retailers fell after a survey by the Nikkei newspaper revealed that 70% of more than 100 major retailers expect sales to drop once April's sales tax hike comes into effect, CNBC reports.

The US dollar also rose to a four-week high against the yen, pressuring exporters. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank won't necessarily end or scale back its stimulus program in two years and will continue it until inflation stabilizes at 2%, according to an interview in the Yomiuri newspaper on Jan. 1, Bloomberg reports.

In China, the HSBC services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.9 in December from 52.5 in November. Fifteen companies published their IPO prospectuses on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges on Monday, sparking fears of a short-term oversupply of stock.

A reopened initial-public-offering market also continued to weigh on local sentiment.

In ADR news, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited ( YGE ) said it has supplied 1 MW of multicrystalline PV modules to Serbia's 2nd largest solar project. The 1 MW project is located in the municipality of Kladovo, 250 kilometers east of Belgrade, the Serbian capital, and is the largest ground-mounted solar PV installation in Serbia funded by a domestic investor. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. ( JKS ) has entered into project loan agreements with China Development Bank. The company has been provided an authorized domestic credit line up to RMB3 billion (approximately US$494 million) for solar project financing by the bank. The RMB400 million (approximately US$66 million) loan will be used to develop the company's 3 PV solar projects located in Xinjiang and Qinghai Provinces.

The Nikkei ended down 2.35% at 15,908.88, the Hang Seng down 0.58% at 22,684.15 and Shanghai down 1.8% at 2,045.71.

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

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

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