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Stocks

Nikkei Asia300 Index falls as China data sparks slowdown worries

State Bank of India, Cathay Pacific, Wilmar International decline

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan fell Tuesday as a slowdown in China's industrial output and retail sales dented investor appetite.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index declined 0.3% to 1,380.97.

China's industrial output rose 6.2% in October, down from 6.6% in the previous month and lower than what economists had expects. Retail sales also missed estimates, expanding 10% and slowing from 10.3% in September. Fixed-asset investment for the January-October period rose 7.3%.

"While official figures show a small deceleration in industrial output growth last month, our own measure points to a much shaper decline," Capital Economics said in a note. "Meanwhile, there are signs in the rest of today's data that the downturn in the property sector is weighing on investment and consumption."

Indian financial companies struggled after data showed that consumer prices in Asia's third-largest economy rose at a quicker-than-expected pace last month. Retail prices rose 3.58% last month, quicker than the 3.28% in September and higher than the 3.43% forecast by economists in a Bloomberg poll.

The data damped expectations of an interest rate cut when the nation's Monetary Policy Committee meets next month. State Bank of India declined 0.6%, and Housing Development Finance Corp. lost 0.5%. ICICI Bank edged lower by 0.1%.

JD.Com rallied 3.4% in overnight U.S. trading after third-quarter revenue topped estimates and it reported an unexpected profit. China's second largest e-commerce firm posted a 39% rise in third-quarter revenue and a net income of 1 billion yuan ($151 million).

Wilmar International declined 3.9% after the Singaporean agricultural major said net profit for the September quarter fell 5.7%.

Cathay Pacific Airways declined 2%, extending losses from Monday, after the stock was dropped from the Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index from Dec. 4. Meanwhile, the airline said late Monday that its unit Air Hong Kong will sell eight freighter aircraft to DHL International for 2.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($282 million), and then lease them back.

Bharti Airtel ended almost unchanged. India's biggest telecom company said Tuesday it had reduced its stake in tower unit Bharti Infratel to 53.51% after selling 83 million shares at 400.6 rupees each in the secondary market. Shares of Bharti Infratel closed 4.5% lower at 396.95 rupees.

Adani Enterprises advanced 1.7%. The Indian energy and infrastructure company reported a 20% increase in consolidated income for the September quarter, while net income declined 6%.

Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Foods dropped 2% after reporting a 5.2% decline in September quarter net profit. CP All advanced 2.1% after the convenience store operator reported a 21% rise in net profit for the July-September period. PTT climbed 1% despite the oil and gas company reporting a 17% decline in net profit for the third quarter.

In country indexes compiled by Nikkei, China and South Korea declined at least 0.6% each. India dropped 0.8%, while Hong Kong advanced 0.5%. Taiwan ended little changed.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies lost 0.1%.

--Nimesh Vora

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