Stocks in Asia tried to shake off losses Tuesday, but most exchanges ended in the red as markets followed in the footsteps of the U.S. indices and gave up midday momentum. Only China staged a sustaining rally, as its market finished at another all-time high.
In Korea, after rising briefly midday, the Kospi fell in line with other Asian indices, by 29.63 points, or 1.46%, to 2005.76. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 220 points, or 1.27%, to 17,137.92, while the Topix tumbled 32.19 points, or 1.9%, to 1625.25.
Japanese banks fared badly in the day's trading. Nomura Holding slid 0.48% to 2,070 yen after announcing it would exit the residential mortgage-backed market, while Mizuho Financial dropped 5% to 631,000 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ plummeted 6% to 1,059 yen.
Elsewhere in Japan, a stronger yen meant weakness in exporters Sony, Canon and Toshiba, which lost between 1.6% and 2.75%. The yen was trading 116.95 vs. dollar, up from 117.4 vs. dollar at the beginning of the trading session.In South Korea, banks fell too, as Kookmin lost 2.2% to 1,700 won and Shinhan Financial Group plunged 4.68% to 2,900 won. "The Korean financial system is going through a 'renovation' that will make for a negative affect on the banking system as a whole," says Shim Jae-Yoob, a buy-side analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul. "It's not very attractive to invest at this time. Investors should stay with steel, petrochemicals and shipping instead."