RTTNews - The Asian markets ended in negative territory amid concerns about global recovery as traders moved to the sidelines ahead of the first full week of earnings results in the U.S.

In the U.S., stocks ended mixed in a choppy session in yet another day of low volumes amid weak economic data that further dented the already weak outlook. A report released by Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that consumer sentiment index for July came in at 64.6 compared with the final reading of 70.8 for June. Economists had been expecting a more modest decrease to a reading of about 70.0. A report released by the Commerce Department showing a narrower than expected trade deficit for May and a separate report from the Labor Department that revealed a jump in import prices in June had little or no impact on the market.

Disappointing preliminary numbers from Chevron and a decline in oil prices below the $60 a barrel mark amid the strengthening of the dollar against the Euro and the Pound also impacted market sentiment. Housing and healthcare stocks showed weakness, while moderate gains were seen among airline, rail-road transportation and few technology stocks.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to finish higher by 3.48 points or 0.2% at 1,756, while the Dow fell by 36.65 points or 0.5% to 8,147 and the S&P 500 dipped by 3.55 points or 0.4% to 879.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened lower at 9,242 compared to its previous close of 9,287 amid concerns about a global recovery following weak closing on Wall Street on Friday. After a brief move above the unchanged line in early trading, the market drifted into negative territory on political concerns The index ended in negative territory, finishing down 236.95 points, or 2.55% at 9,050. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues issues fell 20.08 points, or 2.30 percent, to 852.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery continued its southward march and ended at at $59.02, down $0.87 a barrel in Asian trading session, after ending the New York session with a loss 38 cents at $59.89 a barrel on Friday.

Metal stocks declined on weaker commodity prices in the international market. Mitsui Mining plunged 6.8% and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co lost 4.6%. Weakness in consumer demand in the U.S., the major exporter of Japanese goods, led electronic products and automakers lower.

Sony Corp. fell 2.9%, Casio Computer slumped 4.47% , Fujikura lost 5.48% and Mazda Motor declined 6.02%.

Komatsu Ltd., a machinery maker that derives almost a quarter of its revenue from the Americas, fell 3.07% and Konica Minolta lost 4.19%..

Shipping stocks continued to slide on demand concerns. Kawasaki Kisen fell 4.31%, Mitsui OSK Lines lost 1.29% and Nippon Yusen slipped 1.05%.

Oil stocks also ended in negative territory. Impex lost 2.86% and Nippon Oil lost 1.03% and Showa Shell declined 1.45%

Brewery stocks ended in positive territory. Sapporo Holdings surged up 6.14% and Kirin Holdings soared 7.82% following reports of merger talks with privately held Suntory. However, both Suntory and Kirin Holdings neither denier or accepted that they are engaged in merger talks.

In Australia, the All Ordinaries Index opened slightly lower at 3,787 compared to its previous close of 3,791 and drifted further down. The index stayed in negative territory throughout the session and ended with a loss of 1.39% or 52.60 points at 3,738. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended at 3,738, representing a loss of 56.60 points, or 1.49%.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery continued its southward march and ended at at $59.02, down $0.87 a barrel in Asian trading session, after ending the previous session with a loss 38 cents at $59.89 a barrel.

Rio Tinto dragged the index down with a loss of 3.58% on concerns about the diplomatic tussle between Australia and China in connection with the arrest of its executives on charges of espionage. BHP Billiton lost 1.38%. Among other metal stocks, Oz Minerals declined 2.86%, Gindalbe Metals shed 2.07% and Mincor Resources fell 3.51%. However, Fortescue Metals gained 2.65% following comments that the present uncertainty between China and Australia related to Rio Tinto would not affect its relationship with its customers in China.

Gold stocks slipped into the red on lower bullion prices. Lihir Gold lost 1.74%, Newcrest Mining fell 1.19% and Sino Gold declined 2.88%.

Oil stocks ended weaker on falling crude oil prices. Santos fell 2.11%, Oil Search lost 1.35% and Woodside Petroleum declined 1.75%.

Financial stocks declined on concerns about a delay in global recovery. ANZ Bank declined 1.75% Commonwealth Bank Australia fell 1.95%, National Australia Bank lost 1.97% and Westpac Banking shed 1.25%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index opened lower at 17,612 compared to its previous close at 17,708 and continued to drift lower amid concerns about global recovery. Traders are anxious ahead of the second week of earnings results in the U.S and preferred to lock in gains and move to sidelines looking for direction. The index ended the session in negative territory with a loss of 453.79 points, or 2.56%, at 17,255

Of the 42 components of the index, only 4 stocks managed to end in positive territory while the balance 38 stocks ended in the negative territory.

Property, finance and resource related stocks ended weaker. Among the property stocks, Sino Land plunged 5.02%, New World Development fell 3.99%, Henderson Land lost 3.72% and SHK Property declined 1.98%.

Retail stocks also ended weaker. Espirit Holdings declined 2.72% and Li & Fung fell 2.19% .

Railroad holding company MTR Holdings managed to end in the positive with a gain of 1.04%.

Resource stocks ended in negative territory. Coal-miner China Shenhua declined 3.07%, Aluminum Corp of China, or CHALCO, lost 3.04%, PetroChina fell 3.53%, and CNOOC shed 2.76%.

In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index declined sharply by more than 3.53% amid concerns about earnings. News about the ill-health of North Korea's Kim Jong-il and related geopolitical concerns further impacted the weak sentiment. The market opened slightly lower at 1,426 compared to previous close at 1,429, and continued to move southward on earnings concerns. The index ended with a loss of 50.50 points or 3.53% at 1,378.

Steel stocks ended lower after POSCO reported 71% drop in Q2 net profit on weak steel prices. POSCO shed 1.26%, and Hyundai Steel lost 2.50%.

Market leader Samsung Electronics led the declines with a loss of 3.88%. LG Display lost 2.06% and LG Electronics slumped 3.95%.

Hynix Semiconductor, slumped 4.38% on weak outlook for memory chip prices.

In India, the stock market ended in the negative territory following weak global cues and concerns about the progress of monsoon in the country. Short covering at lower levels helped market trim the losses to a certain extent.

The BSE Sensex ended at 13,400, down 104 points or 0.77% from its previous close, and the broader S&P CNX Nifty fell 30 points or 0.75% to close at 3,974.

All the other major markets open for trading across the region ended weaker. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 33.38 points or 1.07% at 3,081, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index fell 42.96 points, or 2.08% to close at 2,020, Singapore's Strait Times Index declined 41.34 points or 1.79% to close at 2,267 and Taiwan's Weighted Index slumped 239.04 points or 3.53% to close at 6,531.

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