Asian markets ended mixed Monday. Japan rose on strength in exporters, but Shanghai and Seoul fell on profit-taking while banks dragged Hong Kong lower.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.6% to 8723.78. The Topix index of all the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section issues rose 14.29 points, or 1.7%, to 848.72. But turnover was relatively low, with just over 1.5 billion shares changing hands.
In Hong Kong, financials dragged the Hang Seng Index 3.3% lower to end at 14622.39. Banking giant HSBCfell for the third straight session, dropping 3.3% on expectations it will have to cut dividends and raise between $15 billion and $25 billion because of the global crisis, analysts said. The index heavyweight, with a 16.3% weighting, contributed 64 points of the index's 505-point decline.
Chinese banks mostly fell on a grim outlook, especially in the near term, as the global crisis has tightened liquidity and driven up the cost of lending. Bank of Chinadropped 2.2%, Bank of Communicationswas 3.4% lower and ICBCfell 1.8%.
Bucking the trend, magnesium producer CVM Mineralsrose as much as 25% on its market debut. It closed 20% higher on the scarce supply of 10 million shares for retail investors, analysts said.
The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks both Class A and Class B shares, ended down 1.5% at 1987.76 as hopes waned for more economic stimulus measures.
"Beijing's failure to release long-anticipated measures over the weekend triggered profit-taking in blue chips, which have risen sharply in the past week," said Jacky Zhang, an analyst at Capital International.
Concerns over the slowdown in China's economy and the impact on corporate earnings continued to weigh on local shares, though analysts said further downside may be limited by shrinking turnover.
Financial firms led the Monday's declines. Ping An Insurance fell 5.3% and Citic Securities shed 3%. China Vanke, the country's largest property developer by market value, dropped 4.9% while Poly Real Estate fell 5.6%.
After opening up, shares of most banks and construction firms closed lower. There was disappointment with the additional deregulation measures unveiled Monday to support the ailing domestic property sector, analysts said. Shinhan Financial Group closed down 0.9% and Hyundai Engineering & Construction declined 1.8%. But KB Financial Group ended 2.1% higher on Friday's news that its banking unit, Kookmin Bank, will acquire stakes in Posco and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Most chip makers lost ground on profit-taking. Samsung Electronics fell 0.7% and Hynix Semiconductor declined 3.6%.