Tokyo follows Wall St down as Toshiba plunges again

Hong Kong: Tokyo followed Wall Street lower on Thursday and US crude oil edged down from recent highs as Toshiba’s stock plunged for the third straight day.
The troubled conglomerate’s stock ended another torrid day 17 per cent down, following the company’s warning of a possible one-time loss of several billion dollars over its US nuclear business.
Its shares have now lost more than 40 per cent of their value since Tuesday and have seen virtually all gains for the year erased. Overall, Japanese stocks saw their biggest drop in more than a month on Thursday after a 1.3 per cent fall. The Nikkei is now up just 0.7 per cent in 2016.
Hong Kong stocks erased earlier losses to finish marginally higher on Thursday, as Shanghai drifted lower in thin holiday trading ahead of the New Year.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.17 per cent, or 37.87 points, to close at 21,792.61.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.20 per cent, or 6.14 points, to 3,096.10 while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, slipped 0.31 per cent, or 6.11 points, to 1,966.24.
Sydney recorded a 0.3 per cent rise to end at its highest level of the year.
Southeast Asian stock markets, except Singapore and the Philippines, were up on Thursday after a subdued start in early trade tracking losses on Wall Street overnight that fell partly due to weak US home resales data.
Contracts to buy previously-owned US homes fell in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, which was seen by many as a sign that rising interest rates could be weighing on the housing market.
Indonesian shares, which closed at their highest since mid-December on Wednesday, rose as much as 1.2 per cent to hit a 2-week high, their third consecutive session of gains.
“Indonesia promises to provide significant yields next year due to improvement of their fundamentals,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc.
Consumer stocks and financials led the gainers, with Bank Central Asia, the biggest bank by market value, up as much as 2.2 per cent and automotive business Astra International as much as 2.9 per cent higher.
Philippine shares, which rose nearly 3 per cent in previous session, fell 0.6 per cent on profit-booking as consumer stocks and realtors, the drivers of Wednesday’s gains, lost ground.
Singapore slipped as much as 0.7 per cent, its biggest intraday percentage loss in a week, as financial and industrial stocks pulled the index down.
Jardine Matheson Holdings and Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, down about 1 per cent each, were among the biggest losers on the benchmark.
Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam posted small gains. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last up 0.2 per cent.
European stocks pulled lower in opening trade on Thursday, one day after a so-called “Santa Rally” propelled London to a record peak.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies shed 0.4 per cent to 7,057.17 points, one day after striking an all-time closing pinnacle at 7,106.08 in volatile low-volume deals.
In the euro zone on Thursday, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 declined by nearly 0.6 per cent to 11,411.36.
The CAC 40 index in Paris recoiled 0.5 per cent to stand at 4,824.75 points compared with Wednesday’s closing level.
The yen and euro climbed against the dollar and both main oil contracts fell, ending crude’s nine-day winning streak, ahead of inventory data from the US Department of Energy later on Thursday, with the market expecting a 1.5 million barrel drawdown.
But analysts cautioned with trading volumes less than half the average, a clearer picture of the market would not emerge until the Opec output cut deal takes effect in January. — Agencies