Asian stocks (MXAP) dropped for a second day as higher borrowing costs in a French bond auction stoked concern Europe’s debt crisis is deepening, overshadowing improving economic data in the U.S. Sony Corp. (6758), a Japanese electronics maker that gets 21 percent of its sales from Europe, fell 2 percent. Elpida Memory Inc. (6665), a manufacturer of computer memory chips, sank 4 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its growth forecast for chips used to help computers juggle programs. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. dropped 2.3 percent after the Korea Development Bank said it will revive plans to sell its stake in the South Korean shipyard.
“Europe is going to be a headwind with all the bond auctions coming up,” said Belinda Allen, a Sydney-based senior investment analyst at Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which oversees about $145 billion. “The first bond auctions from Germany and France did relatively OK, but there’s a risk Italy won’t perform as well. Markets are a lot more comfortable with the U.S. economy at this point in time. The outlook really hinges on Europe and China.”
GLOBAL MARKETS-Europe woes weigh on shares, euro; US helps curb loss
TOKYO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Asian shares edged down and the euro hovered near a 16-month low against the dollar and an 11-year low against the yen on Friday on worries the euro zone debt crisis is crippling European banks, but more positive U.S.
data helped curb the losses.
"Euro area stresses remain elevated," said Standard Chartered in a research note. "Poor economic data, sovereign downgrades and weak demand for government bond issues remain key threats to the region."
COMMODITIES-Markets tumble after strong start to 2012
NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - A surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles pulled oil prices down sharply on Thursday while grains markets tumbled on euro zone worries and a resurgent dollar, casting a pall over commodities' strong start to the year.
"The dollar is going to continue to strengthen, Europe is in trouble. Those issues are going to come back to the forefront," said Robert Bresnahan, who runs grains trading advisory Trilateral Inc in Chicago.
Oil falls back on U.S. stock build, higher dollar, technicals
NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Brent crude dropped back drastically and U.S. crude deepened losses near the close on Thursday as investors took a second look at data showing a surprise build in U.S. stockpiles and the sharp rise in the dollar encouraged traders to jettison riskier assets.
"The late extension of losses reflect a delayed reaction to the EIA data (and) the dollar's gradually rise and the euro's slump also put pressure on crude futures," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in New York.
NYMEX-Natural gas sinks 4 pct to below $3/mmBtu
NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures slid nearly 4 percent on Thursday, pressured back below $3 per million British thermal units for the third time in four sessions amid concerns over bloated inventories and mild winter weather.
"With the recent cold spell breaking in major heating regions and warming back above normal, heating demand continues to be muted thus far seasonally. Couple that with brimming storage levels and natural gas prices continue to remain under pressure," said Caprock Risk Management president Chris Jarvis.
Euro Coal-Rises $1-2/t as buying picks up
LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - South African physical prompt coal bids rose by around $1.00 a tonne percent on Thursday as buyers began to emerge after the end-year holiday hiatus.
"Drummond is seeing the worst delays of around two weeks, Prodeco almost as bad but even though Prodeco's coal is high-grade and some is specialist pulverised coal for steelmaking, it is important and it does matter to the market," one European utility source said.