Asian Stocks Retreat as Developers Decline; Samsung Advances

Sep 04, 2014 4:23 am ET

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index retreating from a one-month high, as developers declined. Samsung Electronics Co. rallied after unveiling new Galaxy Note phones.

DLF Ltd., India’s largest real-estate developer, tumbled 8 percent after a report that a court canceled a land allocation in Gurgaon. Yuexiu Property Co. lost 1.2 percent in Hong Kong after announcing a rights issue. Hengan International Group Co. slipped 1.6 percent after BNP Paribas SA cut its rating on the diaper maker. Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, climbed 1.8 percent in Seoul.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2 percent to 148.83 as of 4:13 p.m. in Hong Kong, with about three shares declining for every two that rose. The gauge rebounded 15 percent from a February low through yesterday amid signs the U.S. economy is strengthening and as China’s policy makers introduced stimulus. Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko reached a deal on ending hostilities after a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin over unrest in Ukraine’s east, he said on his website.

“We’re likely to have volatility in September,” Stuart Freeman, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors LLC in St. Louis, Missouri, said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ve got a fundamental situation, an acceleration of growth that’s going to allow the market to move higher by the end of the year.”

BOJ Meeting

Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.4 percent. The Bank of Japan maintained its plan for a 60 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen ($668 billion) annual increase in its monetary base at the end of its two-day meeting, as predicted by all economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

The BOJ and the European Central Bank emphasized the need to fight deflation and ignite growth at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last month. The ECB will also announce its monetary policy decision today.

India’s S&P BSE Sensex index lost 0.6 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.4 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex index fell 0.2 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.1 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied 0.8 percent yesterday to 149.12, near the six-year high of 146.46 reached in July. The measure traded at 13.8 times estimated earnings yesterday, the highest this year.

“The market momentum is still strong,” Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of Asian multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management Ltd., said by phone. “Equities are still undervalued and the economic environment in Asia is stabilizing.”

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. The U.S. equity benchmark slipped 0.1 percent yesterday as the Nasdaq Composite Index fell the most in almost a month, dragged down by losses in Apple after Samsung’s announcement of its new smartphones and as the American company faced criticism for the theft of celebrity photos.

Ukraine President Poroshenko announced yesterday that he’d hammered out a deal with Putin to end the deadly unrest, sending global stocks and emerging-market currencies surging. When he later removed the word “permanent” from his cease-fire statement and Putin’s spokesman said there had been no deal, markets gave back some of the gains.

Putin called for an end to the rebels’ offensive in the country’s easternmost regions and urged the withdrawal of the Ukrainian military from residential areas as part of a seven- point proposal he presented in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that while the two leaders mostly agreed on steps needed for a truce, Russia can’t reach such an accord as it’s not party to the conflict.

DLF Plunges

DLF slipped 8 percent to 168.20 rupees, heading for its lowest close since May 15. Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday ordered the government to cancel an allocation of 350 acres of land in Gurgaon, India to DLF, the Times of India reported today. The company said it’s awaiting a copy of the order.

Yuexiu Property, a developer controlled by the government of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, slid 1.2 percent to HK$1.65 in Hong Kong after saying it will raise HK$3.85 billion ($497 million) in a rights offer to fund future land purchases.

Hengan International dropped 1.6 percent to HK$82.60 after BNP Paribas cut its rating on the stock to hold from buy and reduced its share-price forecast to HK$85 from HK$89.50.

Among shares that advanced, Samsung Electronics rose 1.8 percent to 1.21 million won in Seoul. The company yesterday unveiled in Berlin the Note Edge with a 5.6-inch screen that extends and the new Note 4, which features an upgraded display and improved camera. It also showed off a virtual-reality headset, developed with Facebook Inc.’s Oculus unit, and a new smartwatch.

Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric Co. surged 7.7 percent in Hong Kong before suspending trading on a report that the Chinese government is seeking a merger of two locomotive manufacturers, one of which is Zhuzhou’s parent. CSR Corp. and China CNR Corp. also halted their shares.