ASIA MARKETS: Nikkei Slumps Again As Asian Markets Start The Week Quietly

By Ese ErherieneFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Japan stocks continue to fall after Friday's worst pullback in 2 months

Most Asia Pacific stock markets started the week on a quiet note, though the Japanese stock market continued to fall.

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The Nikkei Stock Average finished morning trading down 0.7% after it posted a 0.8% loss on Friday, its largest percentage loss in two months, amid broad regional weakness. 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 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.

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) and fiber maker Toray (3402.TO) both off about 3%.

Korea's Kospi also weakened early Monday, falling 0.4% despite a 3.5% bounce for Hyundai Motor (005380.SE) .

But technology stocks were helping Hong Kong's benchmark stock index . Tencent (0700.HK) rose 1.2% and Apple supplier AAC (2018.HK) jumped another 8% to a sixth-straight intraday record high, helping the Hang Seng Index gain 0.3%.

Meanwhile, e-gaming-services provider Razer (1337.HK) popped as much as 41% in its market debut Monday; it was recently up 24%.

Chinese and Southeast Asian stock indexes also rose slightly, though New Zealand's benchmark was down 0.1% to reverse early gains. That despite dairy companies a2 Milk (ATM.NZ) and Synlait (SML.NZ) rebounding some 2.5% after sharp declines last week.

Oil rose slightly in Asian trading after a Friday pullback helped along by bearish U.S. rig-drilling data. U.S. and global benchmarks were recently up 0.1%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 12, 2017 23:16 ET (04:16 GMT)