ASIA MARKETS: Japan's Nikkei Suffers Worst Loss In 7 Months

By Ese Erheriene Features Dow Jones Newswires

Tech stocks help Hang Seng Index notch modest gain

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Most Asia Pacific stock indexes logged declines Monday, with Japanese stocks again underperforming after their gains of the past two months.

After logging its biggest drop percentage-wise in two months Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-pull-back-following-wall-streets-losses-2017-11-09), the Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.3%. That's the worst percentage loss since April 6, according to FactSet data.

The benchmark had surged 21% from early September through last week before the rally paused Thursday.

Given the large rally recently and with the release of third-quarter economic growth figures due Wednesday, recent price action is "just profit-taking," said Tareck Horchani, global head of sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets.

Stock sentiment globally darkened last week amid fresh concerns about U.S. tax reforms as competing Republican proposals have emerged.

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Monday's decline in Japan came despite a pullback in the yen. The dollar was recently around Yen113.70, versus Yen113.47 when the local stock market closed last week. Earnings, which had been supporting the market, also clouded sentiment, with real-estate developer Mitsui Fudosan (8801.TO) down 4.1% and fiber maker Toray (3402.TO) off by 3.9%.

Korea's Kospi also weakened early Monday, falling 0.5% despite a 3.9% bounce for Hyundai Motor (005380.SE) .

But technology stocks helped Hong Kong's benchmark stock index. Tencent (0700.HK) rose 0.6% and Apple supplier AAC (2018.HK) jumped another 5.8% to a sixth-straight intraday record high, helping the Hang Seng Index rise 0.2%.

Meanwhile, e-gaming-services provider Razer (1337.HK) popped as much as 41% in its market debut Monday, and finished up by 18%.

Chinese and Southeast Asian stock indexes also rose slightly, and New Zealand's benchmark reversed losses and ended fractionally higher at 7,976.43. Dairy companies a2 Milk (ATM.NZ) and Synlait (SML.NZ) climbed 3.9% and 1.5%, respectively, after sharp declines last week.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 07:25 ET (12:25 GMT)