Asian markets received a bad lead from the US and European stocks while financial, commodity and materials sectors were all hit hard. Most Asian stock markets ended down Thursday ahead of the U.S. jobs report. Japan's Nikkei fell on the deepening fears over Toyota Motor's vehicle recall. China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gave up 1.8%.
Asahi Kasei (formerly Chemical Industry)(TSE: 3407) is diversified company operates six segments: The chemicals segment (basic chemicals, plastics, fertilizers) and housing and construction materials segment (concrete partitions, residential construction, and land development) each account for slightly more than a third of Asahi Kasei's sales. The company's fibers and textiles operation, once Japan's largest rayon maker, stopped rayon production in 2001 but still makes nylon. Asahi Kasei also makes items ranging from drinks (sake, premixed cocktails) to electronic materials and medical products.