Asian Markets Update: Earnings Downgrades Deflate Tokyo Indices - TheStreet

TOKYO -- After swinging between positive and negative territory all day, Tokyo shares were nudged lower as a series of earnings downgrades punched investor confidence.

Some volatility remained ahead of the expiration of September futures and options contracts Friday, but the futures market gained composure after consecutive sessions of heavy selling.

The

Nikkei 225

index shed 52.40 to close at 16,399.87, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, slid 6.80 to finish at 1484.24. The

Jasdaq

small-cap index lost 0.54 to stand at 80.47, while the Nikkei

over-the-counter

index shed 8.86 to end trade at 1696.04.

With the settlement of September derivatives contracts coming up, most of the action again was in the futures market. That said, earnings downgrades by a large consumer finance firm and a retailer hurt market sentiment on an otherwise quiet day.

Consumer finance firm

Nichiei

, which was plagued by scandals over the firm's dubious lending and debt collection practices earlier this year, fell 125 yen, or 10.4%, to 1075 ($10.14). The firm said it would post a net loss of 43.6 billion yen for the year to March, when earlier estimates had been a 4.5 billion yen profit.

Retailer

Marui

also reported a lower estimate for the year ending January, with net profits expected to be 25 billion yen, vs. an earlier profit calculation of 29.5 billion yen. Shares fell 60, or 3.9%, to 1470.

Taking their cues from the

Nasdaq's

slide overnight, most large-cap electronic shares were lower, including

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

, down 290, or 2.5%, to 11,330, and

NEC

(NIPNY)

, down 80, or 2.7%, to 2915.

The greenback edged slightly lower against the yen, recently buying 106.03.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 10.01 to close at 17,605.23 in rather dull trading, with the market concentrating on buying index heavyweights. After some investors reassessed the future of Asian telecom firms,

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get Report

rose HK$0.25 to 62.50 ($8.01), while

Hutchison Whampoa

also gained 0.50 to 114.00. Traders also said Hutchison may be unloading more shares in

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

soon.

A slight pickup in the outlook for the banking sector helped

HSBC

(HBC)

rise 1.00 to 114.50.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan's

TWSE

index dipped 174.84, or 2.3%, to close at 7610.78 as the government's crackdown on financial irregularities -- now concentrated in the banking sector -- depressed investor appetite. Korea's

Kospi

index also fell 2.55 to finish at 676.69.