Asian stocks lower ahead of earnings

Asian markets were mostly lower Tuesday as investors readied for a slew of corporate earnings and Australian shares sank amid a backlash against a foreign takeover of the country’s stock exchange.

Major Japanese corporations from Sony Corp. to Honda Motor Co. will report earnings later this week, kicking off the quarterly profit reporting season in Asia that will show how businesses are faring as the global economic recovery loses momentum.

Japanese shares faded as the dollar hovered near a 15-year low against the yen, pressuring exporters.

The Nikkei 225 stock average was down 13.22 points, or 0.1 percent, at 9,387.44.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.5 percent to 4,687.80 amid news that lawmakers are threatening to scuttle a $8.3 billion deal for Singapore Exchange to buy ASX, the operator of the Australian stock market, saying it is against the country’s interests. ASX shares tumbled 7 percent.

The two exchanges hope the deal will make them big enough to avoid being marginalized by cross-border trading platforms which are undermining the dominance of traditional stock markets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.1 percent to 23,610.95 and the Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.8 percent at 3,024.88. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2 percent to 1,919.41.

Markets in India, Singapore and New Zealand fell while Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia gained.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31.49 points, or 0.28 percent, to 11,164.05 on Monday amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will take steps to boost the U.S. economy.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3966 from $1.3918 in New York late Monday. The dollar fell to 80.70 yen from 80.83 yen — nearing its post-World War II low of 79.75 set in 1995.

Benchmark crude for December delivery was down 31 cents to $82.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 83 cents to settle at $82.52 a barrel on Monday.

Source: AP

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