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Asian Stocks Inch Down in Early Trading Despite Gains in U.S.

via CNBC.com

Asian stocks edged down on Friday as weak U.S. economic data outweighed robust corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 index [.SPX  1376.51    3.73  (+0.27%)   ] rallied to a fresh 2-1/2 month peak overnight on a strong full-year outlook from IBM [IBM  195.34   7.09  (+3.77%)   ], bullish earnings from eBay [EBAY  43.95    3.49  (+8.63%)   ]and Qualcomm’s [QCOM  58.435    2.385  (+4.26%)   ] expectations for a strong December quarter. But weaker-than-expected readings on U.S. manufacturing, housing and labor markets capped gains.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index [.FTFCNBCA  6019.05    -14.26  (-0.24%)], which measures markets across Asia, dipped 0.3 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped in early trade as a firmer yen offset positive sentiment after U.S. stocks, buoyed by corporate earnings, rose for a third straight day.

The Nikkei [.N225  8792.19    -3.36  (-0.04%)   ] eased 0.4 percent to 8,764.45, holding above its five-day moving average at 8,752.53, while the broaderTopix index was down 0.6 percent at 743.05.

Oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan retreated 0.4 percent after it shut the 220,000 barrels per day No. 2 crude distillation unit at its Chiba refinery, east of Tokyo, on Thursday evening after fire.

Toyota is close to an agreement to purchase light commercial vans from PSA Peugeot Citroen’s threatened Sevelnord plant in northern France, La Tribune reported. Its stock slipped 0.3 percent.

Seoul shares was flat as robust corporate earnings offset weak U.S. economic data.

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