Asian stock markets ended lower Wednesday, as concerns about Europe’s debt crisis offset better-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy.
Investors remained cautious as Italian 10-year bond yields rose back above 7 percent in Tuesday trading, a similar to the danger levels at which financial bailouts were required by Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that retail sales rose broadly in the month of October. Total retail sales increased 0.5 percent during October compared to the prior months gain of 1.1 percent and against analysts’ estimation of 0.3 percent. The stronger than expected retail sales showed that the U.S. economy, at least from a consumption point of view, is not as weak as first thought.
Tokyo shares ended lower, led by declines from financials. Nikkei fell 0.92 percent or 78.77 points to 8,463.13.
Nomura Holdings plunged 4.34 percent and Daiwa Securities Group plunged 4.61 percent, while Sony Financial holdings and Mizuho Financial fell 2.59 percent and 1.92 percent, respectively.
Chinese stocks lost more than 2.5 percent as financial and property stocks plunged after IMF warned that China's biggest commercial banks face systemic risks.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 509.86 points or 2.64 percent to 18,838.58 and Chinese benchmark Shanghai composite declined 2.58 percent or 65.14 points to 2,464.62.
China's biggest developers China Vanke Co. and Poly Real Estate plunged 3.44 and 4.7 percent, respectively, on news that real-estate companies are facing large loan repayments after borrowing at high interest rates, according to Bloomberg.
South Korean shares pared earlier gains and ended in negative territory as losses in financial sector shares dragged down the benchmark index. Seoul composite declined 30.05 points or 1.59 percent to 1,856.07.
KB Financial Group declined 2.68 percent and Woori Finance Holdings fell 3.1 percent, while Hana Financial Group lost 3.7 percent.