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Market Update

Weak China Data Dragged Nikkei and Asian Markets

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 4:18 AM ET March 13 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo – Stocks in Asia and Japan closed lower after China reported weaker than expected increase in factory production, retail sales and fixed assets investments in two-month period to February. Ocean freight companies declined after Baltic Dry Index plunged 8%.

Stocks in Japan and in Asia declined after the latest economic data from China suggested a slowdown.

Retail sales increased 11.8% in the two-month period to February, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The statistics agency in a separate report said factory production in the period increased 8.6% compared to estimates of at least 9.3%. However, fixed assets investments soared 17.9%.

The fixed asset investment is a key measure of government spending on infrastructure and most regional governments are generally known to report higher spending to win larger central government outlay.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 14.41 to 14,815.98 and the Topix index fell 3.48 to 1,203.46.

The yen declined to 102.50 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Shipping companies traded lower after the measure of freight rate plunged 8%. The volatile Baltic Dry Index declined in a choppy trading on the worries that global ocean freight commerce is slower than the last year.

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd fell 2.2%.

Toyota Motor Corp fell 8 yen to 5,720 yen. Honda Motor Co eased 44 yen to 3,721 yen. Nissan Motor Co Ltd slid 0.7% to 869 yen.

Sony edged down at 1 yen to 1,839 yen.

Softbank Corp gained 131 yen to 7,993. Fast Retailing Co decreased 70 yen to 36,690 yen.

Japan Airlines Co Ltd rose 0.9% to 5,130 yen after the Japan-based airline company and S7 Airlines expanded their code-share flights by adding 12 domestic destinations in Russia from March 19.

EnBio Holdings Inc surged 178% to 1,611 yen after the company priced its initial public offering and did not trade on the first day of share listing.

Mitsui High-tec, Inc plunged 7.2% to 682 yen after the Japan-based precision molds maker said net sales in the year ending in December climbed 10.9% to 60.63 billion yen from 54.65 billion yen a year ago.

Net income in the year soared 24.7% to 2.83 billion yen compared to 2.27 billion yen and earnings per share jumped to 67.96 yen from 53.71 yen a year earlier.

Yoshinoya Holdings Co., Ltd slipped 1.4% to 1,302 yen after the food restaurant operator will raise the price of its standard bowl of “gyudon” beef on rice to 300 yen including tax from 280 yen from April 1 to reflect the higher consumption tax.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc