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Asia300

Nikkei Asia 300 Index falls as Taiwanese suppliers to Apple decline

Largan Precision, Hon Hai, Taiwan Semiconductor fall amid concerns over iPhone X demand

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan fell Wednesday, led by losses in Taiwanese suppliers to Apple amid concerns over demand for iPhone X.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index dropped 0.3% to 1,527.55. Largan Precision, a lens supplier to Apple, dropped 4.4%, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry declined 1%, and Win Semiconductors shed 2.2% after JP Morgan reportedly cut its first-quarter forecast for the three Taiwanese companies, citing weakening demand for the top-end iPhone X model. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple's main mobile processor manufacturer, dropped 3%.

Overnight in U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose to a record while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower. On Wednesday, investor focus was on the persistent weakness in the U.S. currency as the dollar index dropped below 90 levels for the first time in three years. The euro climbed to its highest since December 2014 as investors awaited Thursday's European Central Bank policy outcome. The meeting comes amid heightened speculation over when the central bank will signal an end to its bond buying program.

South Korea's LG Electronics tumbled 6.4%, extending its losses from Tuesday, after the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported washing machines. Samsung SDI advanced 3.5% after the manufacturer of electric vehicles reported an operating profit for the December quarter as compared with a loss a year earlier.

Shares of Chinese video streaming company Leshi Internet Information & Technology, a unit of conglomerate LeEco, fell by the daily limit of 10% in Shenzhen in its first trading in nine months. The shares had been suspended pending a corporate restructuring exercise, which it said had been canceled.

Hong Kong-listed Cathay Pacific Airways rose 1.9% after a shareholding disclosure on Tuesday indicated that Qatar Airways increased its stake in the Hong Kong carrier to 9.94% from 9.61% through market purchases on Nov. 13.

Indian mobile phone operators fell. Bharti Airtel dropped 6.5% and Idea Cellular lost 5.5% after rival Reliance Jio Infocomm offered more data to customers, rekindling concerns of a prolonged price war that hurts companies' profits. Shares of Reliance Industries, the owner of Jio, dropped 1.8%. Earlier Wednesday, Idea reported its net loss widened to 12.85 billion rupees ($202 million) in the December quarter from 3.83 billion rupees a year earlier.

In economic data, consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.5% in December, in-line with estimates.

In country indexes compiled by Nikkei, Taiwan tumbled 1.7% and China declined 0.2%. Hong Kong and South Korea fell by less than 0.1%. India's gauge added 0.1%.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies ended little changed.

--Nimesh Vora

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