8-15-13 10:46 PM EDT | Email Article

By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch


HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Asian stocks stumbled Friday after some weak earnings and worries the Federal Reserve would soon pare its bond purchases slammed Wall Street, with Japanese shares leading the losses.


Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.2%, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.8%, while South Korea's Kospi shed 0.5% as trading resumed after Thursday's holiday.


In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.9%.


The decline came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) tumbled 225 points overnight for its second consecutive triple-digit fall, following a jump in Treasury yields. Cisco Systems Inc.'s (CSCO) planned layoffs and a cut in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s (WMT) forecasts also weighed on the Dow industrials.


"The U.S. markets will alter global trading over the next 30 days -- taper talk is only going to get louder and louder, to a point of deafening. This will lead risk markets such as equity indices to start throwing the toys out of the monetary-stabilizing pram in the coming weeks," said IG Markets strategist Evan Lucas.


Shares of several firms that earn a significant international exposure fell across the region.


In Tokyo, Yamaha Motor Co. (7272.TO) dropped 1.8%, Sharp Corp. (SHCAY) fell 2.2%, and construction-equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. (KMTUF) shed 2.4%.


Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF) lost 0.8%, and LG Electronics Co. (LGEAF) gave up 2.2% in Seoul, while in Sydney, sportswear firm Billabong International Ltd. skidded 1.8%.


Also losing ground in Sydney, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZBY) fell 2.9% after the bank said margins in its Asian business were likely to fall in the second half of the fiscal year through September, due to lower interest rates.


However, gold miners advanced after precious-metal futures jumped overnight in the U.S.


Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCMGF) rose 4.6%, and Perseus Mining Ltd. soared 14% in Sydney, while Zijin Mining Group Co. (601899.SH) rose 1.1% in Hong Kong, and Zhongjin Gold Corp. added 1.7% in Shanghai.


Several energy shares also outperformed after crude-oil prices climbed in the U.S., with Inpex Corp. (IPXHF) adding 0.8%, and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. rising 1.1% in Tokyo.


Santos Ltd. (SSLTY) advanced 2.9% in Sydney after posting a 3% increase in its January-June net profit.


Chinese property shares retreated, meanwhile, with China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. (0688.HK) shrinking 3.3% in Hong Kong, Cinda Real Estate Co. losing 1.2% in Shanghai, and Oceanwide Real Estate Group Co. dropping 1% in Shenzhen.

-V. Phani Kumar; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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08-15-13 2246ET

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Copyright 2014 MarketWatch
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