Asia stocks muted as US earnings underwhelm

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2012 11:25 PM
Asia stocks muted as US earnings underwhelm

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets stalled Tuesday following the release of disappointing U.S. corporate earnings, but a weakening yen helped support Japanese shares.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent to 9,017.83, a day after the country's currency fell to a three-month low against the dollar. A weak yen helps the country's mammoth export sector by raising the value of company profits repatriated from abroad.

South Korea's Kospi shed 0.3 percent to 1,934.59. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 4,550.40. Benchmarks in Singapore and Indonesia rose while Taiwan's fell. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed and Hong Kong markets were closed for a public holiday.

U.S. stock markets were nearly flat Monday after investors were hit with more underwhelming third-quarter earnings reports. Investors were disappointed by earnings reports from toy maker Hasbro, clothing maker VF Corp., regional bank SunTrust and other companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose marginally to 13,345.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,433.81. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.4 percent to 3,016.96.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3053 from $1.3045 late Monday in New York. The dollar slipped slightly to 79.84 yen from 79.89 yen.

The Japanese currency fell to its lowest level against the dollar in over three months Monday after Japan said that its exports fell 10.3 percent in September from a year earlier.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 41 cents to $89.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.32 to finish at $88.73 in New York.