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Asia: Financials Weigh on Market

Chinese property stocks, which have led a recent rally in the region after rate cutting by the U.S. Federal Reserve, also suffered the bloodbath.

Cheung Kong Holdings (CHEUY) fell 2.34%, to HK$142.10, while Sun Hung Kai Properties (SUHJY) lost 3.01%, to HK$12.26, and Hutchison Whampoa (HUWHY) shed 3.53%, to HK$86.15.

In telecoms, China Mobile (CHL) lost 3.8%, to HK$137.90, China Netcom (CN) fell back 2.9%, to HK$21.95, and China Unicom (CHU) lost 1.7%, to HK$16.16.

In Japan, exports were hit hard, as the yen soared to its highest level in nearly 18 months. The yen was trading at 112.59 yen vs. dollars in Asian trading, up from yesterday's 113.95.

That's great news for the Currencyshares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) ETF, which has been gaining this week as the yen has refused to slide vs. global currencies and the yen carry trade has been out of favor with Asian hedge funds.

Sony (SNE) lost 2.35%, to 5,390 yen, while Canon (CAJ) lost 1.04%, to 5,660 yen, and Nintendo (NTDOY) plunged 5.5%, to 63,800 yen.

Machine orders in Japan, which is a widely-used proxy for investment in the country, fell by 7.6% in September on the month, much weaker than the 1.5% decline expected by analysts.

This signals that the Bank of Japan may hold off raising Japanese interest rates even in the first quarter of 2008, as many widely expected, say regional economists.

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