Asian markets open for trading on Monday, the first trading session of the week, ended in negative territory following mixed closing in the US on Friday after Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, failed to divulge more details about the possible quantitative easing measures to support the stuttering economy. Weakening of the commodity prices amid strengthening of the greenback against the euro and the pound and uncertainty about QE measures also impacted market sentiment as traders preferred to move into the sidelines awaiting more cues on the global economy.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index declined 37.10 points, or 0.79%, and closed at 4,652 points, while the All-Ordinaries Index ended at 4,723, representing a loss of 34.80 points, or 0.73%.
Resource related stocks ended in negative territory. BHP Billiton slipped 1.13%, Rio Tinto edged down 0.26%, Fortescue Metals lost 1.56%, Gindalbie Metals fell 1.42%, Iluka Resources shed 1.46%, Macarthur Coal was down 0.60%, Mincor Resoruces plunged 3.29%, Murchison Metals slipped 3.74% and Oz Minerals declined by 2.74%.
Oil related stocks also ended in the red on lower crude oil prices in the international market. Woodside Petroleum declined 0.80%, Santos Ltd shed 0.54%, ROC Oil Ltd lost 1.16%, Origin Energy fell 1.10% and Oil Search Ltd was down 0.94%.
Gold related stocks also ended in negative territory following drop in bullion prices in the international market. Newcrest Mining declined 2.73% while Kingsgate was down 3.37%.
Financial stocks also ended in negative territory following drop in bank stocks on Friday in Wall Street.ANZ Bank slipped 0.97%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed 0.88%, National Australia Bankdeclined 0.67% and Westpac Banking Corp. lost 1.31%. Investment banker Macquarie Group ended in negative territory with a loss of 0.85%.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index slipped 1.76 points, or 0.02% to 9,498..while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues ended in positive territory with a gain of 4.14 points, or 0.50%, at 830.
On the economic front, a report released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan revealed that an index measuring tertiary industry activity in the country eased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in August compared to the previous month, standing at 98.7. That beat analyst expectations for a 0.5% monthly decline following the 1.6% gain in July.
Mixed trading was witnessed among stocks of exporters as hopes of Government intervention in the forex market more than offset the concerns about stronger yen on exporters' earnings. Among the exporters, Sony Corp. gained 1.76%, Sharp Corp. climbed 2.04%, and Panasonic Corp. advanced 0.42%. However, Canon Inc. ended in negative territory with a loss of 0.13%.
Mixed trading was also witnessed among the automotive stocks. Toyota Motor advanced 1.21%, Honda Motor gained 1.01%, Suzuki Motor added 0.76% and Mitsubishi Motor climbed 1.00%. However, Mazda Motor declined 0.93% and Isuzu Motors plunged 2.48%.
The Indian market ended a volatile session modestly higher on Monday, with IT, oil/gas and realty stocks leading the gains. TCS (up 2.98%), Reliance Industries (up 2.26%), Tata Steel (up 1.86%) and ONGC (up 1.54%) were among the top gainers. On the flip side, Maruti Suzuki, Wipro, Cipla, Mahindra & Mahindra, Jaiprakash Associates, Tata Power, Bharti Airtel and ACC led the decliners, ending down between 1% and 3%. While a somewhat subdued trend in global equities and profit-taking by investors to subscribe to the Coal India IPO weighed on the market initially, the benchmark indexes reversed direction in the last hour of trade, buoyed by sold second-quarter results from Larsen & Toubro and HDFC. The 30-share Sensex, which tumbled to a low of 19,871 in early trading, bounced back sharply to finish up 44 points at 20,169, with 14 of its components advancing. The broader Nifty rose by 13 points to 6,076.
Among the other markets in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 15.93 points, or 0.54% to close at 2,955, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged 288.25 points, or 1.21%, to 23,469, Jakarta Composite Index in Indonesia declined 30.11 points, or 0.84%, to close at 3,567, Seoul Composite Index in South Korea lost 26.87 points, or 1.41%, to close at 1,875, the Strait Times Index in Singapore fell 23.00 points, or 0.72%, to close at 3,181, and Taiwan Weighted Index was down 144.76 points or 1.76% to close at 8,061.