Asian Stocks
Asian stock markets mostly declined Friday after data showed that Chinese inflation jumped to a seven-month high in December. REUTERS

Asian stock markets plunged Friday as the disappointing earnings from Apple Inc. and some regional companies dampened the sentiment.

Japanese benchmark Nikkei plunged 1.35 percent or 122.14 points to 8,933.06, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.21 percent or 264.66 points to 21,545.57 and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite plunged 1.72 percent or 33.07 points to 1,891.43 while Chinese Shanghai Composite slumped 1.68 percent and India's BSE Sensex fell 0.80 percent.

Asian stocks mostly opened on a negative note despite a positive closing on Wall Street overnight as sentiment turned negative following the weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings from Apple in the after-hours trading. The iPhone maker reported the fourth quarter net profit of $8.2 billion or $8.67 per share, up from $6.62 billion or $7.05 per share in the same quarter last year but missed Reuters' estimate of $8.75 per share.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economic data was mixed Thursday. Official reports showed a 9.9 percent jump in durable goods and a 23,000-fall in initial jobless claims and both beat consensus but the more important core durable goods orders and pending home sales data disappointed.

Sentiment was further weighed down as earnings from some regional companies missed estimates and South Korea’s third quarter GDP data came in slightly weaker-than-expected. Official data showed that the gross domestic product grew just 0.2 percent in the July-September period compared to the second quarter.

On an annual basis, the GDP expanded by 1.6 percent, the weakest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2009, compared to the 2.3 percent rise in the second quarter and below Reuters’ estimate of a 1.9 percent gain.

“Investors have big concerns about the global economic slowdown. Earnings of most large companies are a bit disappointing. The weak economy and consumption will continue to give companies a tough time,” Kasem Prunratanamala, head of research at CIMB Securities (Thailand) Co. in Bangkok, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Japanese stocks plunged as losses in exporters and technology shares weighed. Profit warnings from Canon and other domestic companies offset growing expectations for easing from the Bank of Japan. Technology shares plunged following disappoint earnings from Apple while exporters fall on stronger yen. Panasonic Corp. declined 2.76 percent and Toshiba Corp. fell 2.08 percent while Honda Motor Co Ltd. plunged 2.86 percent.

Fanuc Corp. declined 3.08 percent and Canon Inc. plunged 3.21 percent after lowering its full year profit and sales forecast while Advantest Corp. surged 3.57 percent as its downward revision in guidance for this financial year fell within market expectations.

In Hong Kong, BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. declined 2.25 percent and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. tumbled 5.06 percent while China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. slumped 6.98 percent 7.56 percent.

In Seoul, Kia Motors Corp. plunged 5.61 percent and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. fell 2.65 percent while LG Electronics Inc. fell 1.22 percent.