Business

US growth fears weigh on Asian shares

Japanese shares Image copyright AFP
Image caption Japanese shares closed down following markets in the US

Asian shares traded mixed on Thursday, following a lacklustre lead from Wall Street, where stocks fell on renewed concerns about US growth.

Weak retail sales data for April, along with poor earnings from US retailers such as Macy's and JC Penney, weighed on investor sentiment, sending the Dow Jones and S&P 500 lower.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 1% to 19,570.24, as the dollar weakened against the yen.

The dollar was buying 119.18 yen.

That compares with 119.83 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Shares of car parts maker Takata were down 5.4% after Honda and Daihatsu said it was recalling over five million cars over potentially dangerous airbags made by the company.

It follows a recall 6.5 million more cars from Toyota and Nissan on Wednesday.

Bucking the trend were shares of camera maker Konica Minolta, which soared 12% after it announced a share buyback and dividend rise on solid earnings.

Meanwhile, Japanese electronics maker Sharp agreed a 200bn yen ($1.7bn; £1bn) bailout from banks, after announcing further losses and job cuts.

It is Sharp's second bailout in three years.

Rest of Asia

Chinese shares were lacklustre, with the Shanghai Composite closing up just 0.06% to 4,378.31, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.14% higher at 27,286.55.

Hong Kong-listed shares of property developer China Vanke and Dalian Wanda jumped 1.9% and 3.1% respectively after they said the companies would form a partnership to acquire land and develop real estate projects together.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.3% to 5,696.60.

Shares of GrainCorp - the country's largest bulk grain handler - fell 2.5% after its half-year profit fell more than 40% because of dry weather.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed up 0.3% to to 2,120.33.

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