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Asian stocks fell and the regional benchmark index pared weekly gains as higher borrowing costs in a French bond auction stoked concern Europe’s debt crisis is deepening, overshadowing improving economic data in the U.S.
Nikkei 225 8,489 -71.40 -0.83%
Hang Seng 18,813 +86.10 +0.46%
S&P/ASX 200 4,143 -45.16 -1.08%
Shanghai Composite 2,148 -20.94 -0.97%
Companies that do businesses in Europe declined. HSBC fell 2.1 percent to HK$59.40 in Hong Kong. Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a clothier that counts Europe as its biggest market, slipped 1.8 percent to HK$10.08. Sony Corp. (6758), which depends on the market for a fifth of its sales, lost 2 percent to 1,345 yen.
Makers of computer memory chips dropped after Nomura cut its forecast for 2012 growth in global shipments of dynamic random access memory to 2.7 percent from 3.7 percent.
Elpida sank 5.4 percent to 331 yen in Tokyo. Powerchip Technology Corp. (5346), a Taiwanese producer of memory chips, slumped 6.7 percent to 97 Taiwanese cents.
Samsung Electronics Co., Asia’s biggest maker of computer memory chips by sales, slipped 1.4 percent to 1.04 million won in Seoul even as the company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.
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