China, Japan in the Red – Japanese Auto Makers Tumble

Chinese and Japanese stocks traded down in the afternoon session today, with the Nikkei closing down triple digits for the day.

Several Japanese majors saw stocks shave off significant amounts, with Toyota (TYO:7203) dropping 7.5%, Honda (TYO:7267) sliding 6.11%, and automotive parts manufacturer Denso Corp (TYO:6902) down over 9% as the final bell approached. While the losses are tame compared to recent days for Japan, they still represent the loss of hard-won gains, leaving the Nikkei down 4% for the week.

In China, all major indexes were down in afternoon trade. The SHCOMP was down 0.4%, trading at 2769 versus the previous close of 2781. The Shenzhen CSI300 traded down 0.5% while the Shanghai 50 traded down 0.3% for the day. These losses are minuscule compared to China’s recent hammering, and most likely represent an end of week sell-off as Chinese New Year approaches.

The ASX traded flat in Australia today, holding on to yesterday’s gains as it finished 5 points up on the open. Miners saw some relief as Rio Tinto (RIO) gained a whopping 7.02% for the day, and BHP Billiton (BHP) gained 3.2%.

As another week has passed without any major volatility, it may be safe to say the major turbulence we saw throughout January has subsided. There could be some good bargains out there for long-term buyers, as the fear subsides and calm returns to Asian markets, there are bound to be some undervalued stocks ripe for the picking.

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Daniel Simmons