Falling commodity prices weigh on Asian shares

<p>Asian stocks traded lower today on the back of falling commodity prices and lingering concerns on the Euro zone. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was […]</p>

Asian stocks traded lower today on the back of falling commodity prices and lingering concerns on the Euro zone.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% lower in early afternoon Tokyo trading. The Korean Won declined against most major counterparties.

Chinese stocks where the worst performers regionally, down between 2.5-3% at the time of writing. Stocks in Hong Kong were 0.9% after yesterday’s sluggish performance.

In regional corporate news, Sinopec and ENN Energy Holdings offered around HK$15.3bn in cash to acquire China Gas Holdings in Hong Kong today. Strategic energy acquisitions continue across the region.

ENN and Sinopec are key in China’s refining business with distribution an important bolt on acquisition. China Gas will give the three combined companies access to around 6.6m residential and 41,981 industrial customers with plenty of more room for growth.

In Australia, housing starts sunk 6.8% in the third quarter of this year, a sign of residential construction weakness – an issue that Australia so desperately needs to address. The numbers are also likely to gain the interest of regional investors trading the big four Australian domestic banks.

Separately, housing finance for October fell even as personal finance commitments grew. The Australian dollar continues to struggle while approaching parity with the U.S. dollar, last trading at around 1.008.

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