Forex Pros – Asian stock markets were broadly higher on Tuesday, as market sentiment was boosted by upbeat earnings reports, while shares in Japan declined after Goldman Sachs lowered its growth forecast for the country.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.15%, South Korea’s Kospi Composite climbed 0.77%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.21%.
Hong Kong-listed shares of China’s biggest cement maker Anhui Conch Cement jumped 5.6% after it reported 2010 net profit soared by 74.1% to CNY6.17 billion, citing increased market demand for cement and higher selling prices.
Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, the Chinese partner of German automaker BMW saw shares rally 6.3% after reporting earnings results that topped analyst expectations. The company also raised its earnings outlook for the current quarter.
Meanwhile, shares in retailer Li & Fung added 1% after Barclays recommended buying the stock.
Elsewhere, shares in Japan were weighed after Goldman Sachs lowered its growth forecast for Japan’s 2011 gross domestic product to 0.7%, down from a previous estimate of 1.3% in the aftermath of power cuts and damage from the March 11 earthquake.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, saw shares plunge 18.8%, falling to lowest level since 1977 after it said that plutonium had been detected in samples of soil taken from the compound of the stricken plant.
Speculation that the Japanese government was considering temporarily nationalizing TEPCO to facilitate its reconstruction also weighed on the stock. Daiichi Life Insurance, TEPCO’s second largest shareholder saw shares tumble 5.2%.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were modestly lower after the open. The EURO STOXX 50 shed 0.15%, France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.1%, the FTSE 100 was down 0.05%, while Germany’s DAX dipped 0.02%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish data on private sector payrolls as well as a report on crude oil stockpiles.
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