BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets headed lower Tuesday as investors turned cautious before U. S. earnings season kicks off this week.

Investors will get a feel for corporate America's outlook as earnings reports start coming. Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. will launch the reporting season for the fourth quarter of 2012 on Tuesday after U. S. markets close. Events during the quarter such as Superstorm Sandy, the presidential election, and worries about the narrowly avoided "fiscal cliff" could lead to some unexpected results.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 percent to 10,548.56 as the yen crept upward against the U. S. dollar. The rebound in the yen led to some investors to sell export shares that had surged as the currency weakened in recent weeks. Isuzu Motors Co. fell 3 percent while Mazda Motor Corp. lost 3.9 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent to 23,239.64. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,003.35 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.1 percent to 4,712.70. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand fell, while Indonesia and the Philippines rose. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed.

Major indexes surged last week after U. S. lawmakers passed a bill to avoid a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff. The deal, however, remains incomplete. Politicians will face another deadline in two months to agree on more spending cuts.

"The looming budget battle in the US has also prompted some hesitancy to buy risk assets," said analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong.

Benchmark crude oil contract for February delivery was up 9 cents to $93.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 10 cents to close at $93.19 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3129 from $1.3112 in New York late Monday. The dollar fell to 87.65 yen from 87.84 yen.


Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at


Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.