Asian stock markets declined Wednesday as mounting concerns over the euro zone debt crisis continued to weigh on the sentiment while disappointing earnings from Apple hit tech shares.
The markets came under pressure again as concerns over the European crisis intensified after Spain's cost of borrowing hit fresh euro-era high. The Spanish benchmark 10-year bond yields soared to a euro-era high of 7.62 percent Tuesday, far higher than the 7 percent rate at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal were forced to seek financial aids, intensifying concerns that the Europe's fourth largest economy might need a full sovereign bailout.
Speculation about Grexit also intensified after EU officials said that twice bailed-out Greece was seen missing debt reduction targets and could need further debt restructuring. Italian stocks declined to its lowest level since the euro's launch Tuesday on worries that the contagion would spread to Italy. Market participants sensed that the government bond yields in Italy could continue to rise in lockstep with their Spanish counterparts.
Meanwhile, weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings from Apple Inc also added to the downside. The iPhone maker reported the third quarter net profit of $8.82 billion or $9.32 per share, up from $7.31 billion or $7.79 per share in the same quarter last year but missed Reuters' estimate of $10.36 per share.
Japanese stocks fell, led by declines from exporter companies' shares as the yen gained to an 11-year high against the euro on back of the worsening euro zone debt crisis. Japanese trade deficit narrowed to -300.8 billion yen in June compared to -618.3 billion yen in May. Benchmark Nikkei plunged 1.44 percent or 122.19 points to 8,365.90.
Among the exporter, Sony Corp. plunged 5.23 percent Makita Corp. fell 3.08 percent while Toshiba Corp. slumped 7.28 percent.
Tech shares plunged across the region as Apple's latest quarterly earnings missed expectations. Advantest Corp plunged 3.75 percent and NEC Corp. fell 2 percent in Tokyo while LG Display Co. plunged 4.75 percent in Seoul.
One of the reasons why the result has had quite a big impact on Asia is because of the component supply chains, and a huge amount of Japanese and Korean companies are in the Apple supply chain. Apple is premier among smartphone makers, and yet even Apple is not immune to the global slowdown in demand, Jefferies' Japan strategist Naomi Fink was quoted as saying by the Market Watch.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.14 percent or 25.87 points to 18877.33 and Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.49 percent or 10.44 points to touch 2,136.15.
Property developers led the declines in Hong Kong. Sino Land Co Ltd. fell 1.74 percent and Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. declined 0.91 percent while Agile Property Holdings Ltd. plunged 4.88 percent.
Indian benchmark BSE Sensex fell 0.54 percent and South Korea's KOPI Composite plunged 1.37 percent. Samsung Electronics fell 1.03 percent and Hyundai Motor Co fell 1.35 percent in Seoul while Sesa Goa declined 1.69 percent and Lanco Infra slumped 7.05 percent in India.