Asian Stocks Retreat on Earnings and Yen Concerns

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By Geetha Pillai | February 15, 2013 3:26 PM EST

Asian markets shrug off the week's gains.

Asian markets have shrugged off the gains of a solid week on the back of disappointing corporate earnings as well as uncertainty about the yen direction ahead of the G20 meeting in Moscow.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 1.1 percent as shares of exporters were sold off as investors remain cautious about the yen movement.

The G20 group of ministers is gathering in Moscow over the weekend where the recent unilateral currency devaluation will be a topic of discussion. Russia's finance minister has already indicated that the group would take a stronger stance against currency manipulation.

Investors are also expecting Japan's final December data for industrial production.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.1 percent, falling from the new highs it had reached in the previous sessions mainly due to disappointing corporate earnings. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Singapore's Straight Times declined 0.3 percent each while South Korea's KOSPI gained 0.1 percent.

Equity markets in China, Taiwan and Vietnam remain shut for Lunar New Year holidays.

Another negative trigger for the Asian markets was the weaker than expected fourth quarter GDP data from the eurozone which showed 0.6 percent contraction for the German economy and 0.3 percent decline for France.

Major Movers in Asia

In Tokyo, Rakuten and Yamaha Motor tumbled on weak earnings and Trend Micro declined 9.4 percent to 2,496 yen as the anti-virus software maker's net income fell 23 percent.

Toyota traded 2.6 percent down while Honda Motors declined 2.7 percent. Kirin Holdings was down 5.2 percent as Japan's largest beverage maker slashed outlook for the current fiscal year operating profit .

In Sidney, Rio Tinto declined 2.3 percent to A$70.40 as the miner reported $3bn annual loss for 2012 as against the $5.83bn profit, the previous year. BHP Billiton traded 0.62 percent down.

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