Most Asian Stocks Experience Decline

Most of the Asian stocks experienced declines on today as the benchmark gauge of Japan; Topix Index had the biggest fall since March, 2011. A survey on the sentiment among the largest manufacturers of the country missed estimates. Apart from that, the official gauge measuring the factory output of China expanded at a slower pace than the expectations.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined by 1.2% as it is down to 133.97 now. Out of all the companies listed, 75% of the companies experienced decline. In the last 5 months, the gauge has rallied as there were signs that the US economy is improving, apart from the speculations that Japan will be introducing aggressive measures for stimulating its economy.

According to the Departmental Head of Content and Research of OCBC Bank Ltd., Vasu Menon, the economy needs to show signs of improvement. Apart from that, many expect the inflation numbers to pick up in Japan as well. He added that too many flashes have been experienced in Japan off late, hence, rhetoric is just not enough at this point of time. Some concrete actions are obviously required at this point of time and only then; economic numbers will react to that. Vasu commented further that when it comes to China, the Asian powerhouse is recovering, but it’s still a modest one.

Japan’s benchmark gauge Topix Index retreated by 3.3%, marking its biggest decline since 15th March, 2011. The quarterly Bank of Japan Tankan survey reported that confidence among the big Japanese manufacturers has improved less than the estimations set by the economists. Incidentally, the gauge has increased by 36% since mid-November as speculations have been rife that the new Government of Shinzo Abe will take necessary steps for pulling the Japanese economy out of deflation.

When it comes to other countries, the benchmark gauge of South Korea, Kospi Index declined by 0.4%. The Taiex Index of Taiwan retreated by 0.2%. On the other hand, the benchmark gauge of Singapore, Straits Times Index was more or less unchanged. The Shanghai Composite Index of China tumbled by 0.1%. As per as the statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, Purchasing Managers Index was at 50.9 for March. Incidentally, equity markets in various countries such as Australia, Hong Kong and Australia were closed on today, it being a holiday.