Emerging-market stocks fell for a second day as South Korean exporters and Chinese industrial companies dropped. Energy shares climbed a sixth day on higher oil prices.
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) led declines among South Korean exporters as the won strengthened against the yen. Chinese rail and shipping companies slipped in Hong Kong. PetroChina Co. (857) advanced to a five-week high in Hong Kong, leading gains in energy stocks. The Thai baht rose to a 28-month high.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.2 percent to 1,061.59 at 1:42 p.m. in Hong Kong. The won gained 0.3 percent against the Japanese yen, eroding the competitiveness of Korean exporters compared with their Japanese peers. A gauge of energy stocks in the emerging-markets index added 0.2 percent, poised for the longest winning streak in three months. The developing- nations measure surged 1.2 percent last week, the most in two months, as data from China to Japan and the U.S. bolstered the global economic outlook.
“The market has priced in all the good news and it needs to take a breather,” Lye Thim Loong, who helps manage the equivalent of $500 million at Libra Invest Bhd., said by phone in Kuala Lumpur. “People will need to find catalysts.”
South Korea’s Kospi Index (KOSPI) declined 0.6 percent to a three- week low. The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.4 percent while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong dropped 0.3 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1 percent after data showed today the nation’s industrial output rose more than economists estimated in January. Trading volumes in the Sensex were 21 percent below the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Thailand’s SET Index (SET) advanced 0.3 percent, heading for the highest level since January 1994. The baht strengthened 0.4 percent against the dollar, the biggest gain among the 11 most traded Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
Global funds bought $156 million more Thai government bonds than they sold yesterday, the biggest net purchases this month, Thai Bond Market Association data show. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday the government is targeting an annual growth rate of 4 percent to 5 percent over the long term. The economy grew 6.4 percent in 2012, official data show.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) has risen 0.7 percent this year, trailing a 7.2 percent gain in the MSCI World Index (MXWO) of developed-country stocks. The emerging-markets measure trades at 10.8 times 12-month projected profit, compared with the MSCI World’s 13.5 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones and televisions, dropped 0.9 percent in Seoul to the lowest level since Feb. 19.
PetroChina climbed for a third day, adding 0.9 percent. West Texas Intermediate oil traded near the highest level in almost two weeks before a report that may show crude stockpiles climbed to the most in eight months in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity.
China Cosco Holdings Co. (1919) slumped 5.8 percent in Hong Kong, the most since May 14, after the company said yesterday it will sell a logistics unit to its parent. It will lose a stable and growing business in the long run after the sale, Vivian Tao, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., wrote in a note today.
-- Editors: Chan Tien Hin, Matthew Oakley
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