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Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Asian Markets Mostly Lower

by November 11, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Friday amid worries that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes and spend on infrastructure might stoke inflation. Meanwhile, stronger commodity prices lifted resources stocks. The Australian and Japanese markets are higher.

The Australian market is advancing, extending gains from the previous session, reflecting investor optimism that president-elect Trump’s economic policies could stimulate the U.S. economy.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 21.30 points or 0.40 percent to 5,350.10, off a high of 5,359.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 17.60 points or 0.33 percent to 5,426.50.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are rising more than 2 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is higher by almost 2 percent after iron ore prices continued to surge overnight.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is losing more than 1 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is adding more than 1 percent.

Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital has increased its stake in Santos to 3.2 percent after buying 40 million shares in the company overnight. Santos’s shares are gaining more than 6 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are higher by 1.9 percent to 3.1 percent.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining is losing almost 6 percent and Evolution Mining is down 5 percent after gold prices slid overnight.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar has slipped against the U.S. dollar on Friday with markets viewing Trump’s policies as inflationary. In late-morning trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7613, down from US$0.7674 on Thursday.

The Japanese market is also rising, reflecting investor optimism about an expansive U.S. fiscal policy under Trump’s presidency. In addition, the yen continued to slip against the U.S. dollar, lifting exporters’ shares.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 178.25 points or 1.03 percent to 17,522.67, off a high of 17,621.73 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Sony is adding 0.2 percent, Panasonic is up 0.7 percent, Canon is higher by almost 1 percent and Toshiba is rising more than 1 percent.

Automaker Toyota is rising almost 3 percent and Honda is up more than 1 percent. Fast Retailing is gaining more than 2 percent and SoftBank is adding more than 1 percent. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising more than 12 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is losing 0.2 percent and JX Holdings is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Taiheiyo Cement is rising almost 13 percent, Dai-ichi Life Holdings is gaining almost 10 percent and Nitto Denko is up more than 10 percent.

On the flip side, Pioneer is losing more than 7 percent after the car electronics maker reported a net loss for the second quarter, while Rakuten is down almost 5 percent and Toyobo Co. is lower by more than 4 percent.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were down 0.1 percent on month in October. That was shy of expectations for a flat reading, which would have been unchanged from the September reading.

Japan also will see September results for its tertiary industry index today. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 106 yen-range on Friday, up from the upper 105 yen range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand and Shanghai are also higher. Meanwhile, Indonesia and Taiwan are losing more than 2 percent each, Hong Kong and Malaysia are down more than 1 percent each, and Singapore and South Korea are also lower.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a mixed performance on Thursday, with the Dow advancing to a new record closing high partly due to substantial gains by JPMorgan and Goldman, amid optimism about reduced regulation of the financial sector under Trump.

The Dow jumped 218.19 points or 1.2 percent to 18,807.88 and the S&P 500 rose 4.22 points or 0.2 percent to 2,167.48, but the Nasdaq slid 42.28 points or 0.8 percent to 5,208.80.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Thursday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1.2 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures fell Thursday for the first time in four sessions, hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar and another build in oil inventories. WTI crude for December delivery fell 61 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $44.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX