Most of the Asian stocks fell Friday with investor sentiment turning negative as the quarterly results reported by Google and Microsoft missed analysts’ expectation, deepening the fear that the sluggish global economic growth would affect the corporate earnings.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.14 percent or 12.30 points to 8970.56. Among the major losers were Taisei Corp (1.82 percent), Sojitz Corp (1.96 percent) and Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (2.01 percent).
The Chinese Shanghai Composite marginally fell 0.03 percent or 0.73 points to 2130.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.15 percent or 32.86 points to 21551.57. Among the major gainers were CNOOC Ltd (1.50 percent) and Li & Fung Ltd (1.40 percent).
South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index dropped 0.74 percent or 14.55 points to 1944.57. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd fell 2.09 percent and those of Hyundai Motor Co declined 1.52 percent.
India's BSE Sensex fell 0.26 percent or 48.38 points to 18743.55. Among the major losers were DLF Ltd (1.27 percent), Maruti Suzuki India (1.11 percent) and Bharti Airtel (1.03 percent).
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Market confidence was weighed down after Google reported Thursday that the company’s third quarter profit fell compared to the same period last year as its Motorola business continued to incur operating loss, including severance and restructuring expenses. For the third quarter, the company reported earnings of $3 billion or $9.03 per share, down from $3.18 billion or $9.72 per share for the same period last year and below the analysts’ expectation of $10.65 per share.
Investor confidence was further afflicted as Microsoft reported Thursday that the company’s first quarter profit declined 22 percent compared to the same period last year as its personal computer business was affected by the soft market demand. For the first quarter, the company reported revenues of $16.1 billion and earnings per share of $0.53 below the analysts’ expectation of $16.42 billion revenue and 0.56 cents earnings per share.
Investors are focusing on the two-day European Council summit which will conclude Friday in Brussels. Market participants are hoping that the summit will announce some steps to reduce the borrowing costs faced by the euro zone.