Little conviction as markets continue falling

<p>Asian stocks fell for a second day as the cost of insuring the region’s debt jumped to highest in more than six months. The Euro […]</p>

Asian stocks fell for a second day as the cost of insuring the region’s debt jumped to highest in more than six months. The Euro also traded near a three-week low versus the Yen amid increasing concern debt-ridden Greece might default. There doesn’t seem to be too much conviction to buy stocks in the region with broad based declines across countries and sectors. 

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 1.5% as of noon in Tokyo, set for its steepest loss in two weeks. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.3%. The Euro traded at 114.90 Yen from 114.80 yesterday, when it slumped 1.2%.Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 1.1%, South Korea’s Kospi Index slumped 1.6% and Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index declined 1.3%.

As stock markets declined, Japanese bonds rose for the first time in four days, with the yield on the 1.2% bond due 2021 falling 2.5 basis points to 1.135%. The rate on 10-year US Treasuries was little changed at 2.98% today, after tumbling 13 basis points yesterday, the most since March 16. 

Meanwhile New Zealand’s consumer confidence rose this quarter and manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in 11 months in May, showing the economy was recovering from the February Christchurch earthquake before more tremors this week. A confidence index increased to 112, rebounding from a two-year low in the first quarter.

In corporate news, Samsonite International SA, after raising $1.25 billion in an IPO dropped in its Hong Kong trading debut amid concern that China’s tighter monetary policy will sap demand for branded goods. The world’s largest branded-luggage maker fell 10% to HK$13 at the start of Hong Kong trading today, from its initial public offering price of HK$14.50. The shares traded at HK$13.16 in early morning trade.  Companies including Prada SpA and China Everbright Bank Co. have scheduled initial share sales for this month and next.

In Singapore, construction group Lian Beng rose 1.5% to 35 Singapore cents after announcing it won a contract, valued at S$128.8 million ($104.4 million), to build a residential apartment in Bedok in the eastern part of the city. Pertama Holdings – a retailer of electronics and home appliances – jumped 11% to 64 Singapore cents. The company will be taken private by parent Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd., the Australian company said. Harvey Norman is offering 65 Singapore cents a share for the rest of Pertama it doesn’t own. Australia’s biggest retailer of electronics by

In commodities, copper dropped for a second day in London on concern about the stability of the global economy. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.7% to $9,090 a metric ton, and traded at $9,115 at noon Singapore time. In energy, oil rose slightly from the lowest in almost four months in New York amid speculation yesterday’s 4.6% slump was exaggerated and on signs Chinese demand will increase.      

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