Asia Stocks Pare Best Quarter Since 2013 as Industrials Decline

Asia stocks fell, with the regional benchmark trimming its strongest quarterly gain in 18 months, as industrial companies led declines. China shares retreated after surging yesterday to a seven-year high.

Central Japan Railway Co., which gained 27 percent this year through Monday, slumped 5.4 percent. Poly Real Estate Group Co. dropped 3 percent as a gauge of China property stocks fell after climbing 7.3 percent yesterday before the government announced measures to boost the market. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s bigggest mining company, added 3.1 percent as energy and materials firms rose.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.3 percent to 146.11 as of 4:05 p.m. in Hong Kong, on course for a 6 percent quarterly advance. Shares rose as much as 0.8 percent earlier after China’s central bank eased mortgage restrictions and on expectations for further stimulus in Asia’s largest economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1 percent, erasing a 1.3 percent advance after the gauge’s relative strength index climbed to 80 yesterday, above the 70 level that some traders take as a signal to sell. International investors have been paring holdings as valuations climb to the highest since 2010 and gauges of Chinese growth decline. The Shanghai Composite advanced 85 percent in the past 12 months through yesterday on bets the government will step up monetary stimulus.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies in Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent, paring a 2.4 percent surge. The Hang Seng Index added 0.2 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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Tokyo Stocks Fall 1.05% on Last Day of Japanese Fiscal Year

Tokyo stocks fell 1.05 percent Tuesday as profit-taking erased early gains on the last day of the Japanese financial year, but the Nikkei index still booked a 10 percent gain over the quarter.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 which climbed 0.93 percent in early trade lost 204.41 points to finish at 19,206.99, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.94 percent, or 14.66 points, to 1,543.11. The broad-based Topix gained 9.63 percent during the first three months of the year.

In early trading, the Japanese market won a measure of support from China’s decision to ease mortgage rules, which fuelled hopes for further stimulus measures.

The People’s Bank of China on Monday lowered minimum down payments on second homes from 60-70 percent to 40 percent in a bid to boost the slowing economy.

In afternoon trade, the dollar was nearly flat at 120.15 yen, against 120.18 yen in New York.

The euro slipped to $ 1.0781 and 129.47 yen, from $ 1.0825 and 130.10 yen in US trade, as investors follow bailout reform talks between Greece and its creditors.

Experts from the IMF and the EU are scrutinising a list of proposed reforms put forward by Athens to try to unblock a new 7.2-billion-euro tranche of loans and avoid a debt default.

Source : AFP

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