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Asian Shares Mixed In Lackluster Trade

by December 27, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday amid a lack of cues from the U.S. and European markets. While a weaker yen helped support underlying sentiment in Japan, Chinese shares fell modestly despite positive industrial profits data. Markets in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand remained closed for public holidays.

China’s Shanghai Composite index dropped 7.91 points or 0.25 percent to 3,114.66 even as official data showed China’s industrial profits grew at a faster pace in November from a year ago.

Industrial profits surged 14.5 percent year-over-year to CNY 774.6 billion, well above the 9.8 percent climb in October. During the January to November period, total industrial profits rose 9.4 percent compared with the same period last year.

Japanese shares ended on a flat note after the release of sluggish economic reports. The Nikkei average closed up 6.42 points or 0.03 percent at 19,403.06 while the broader Topix index slipped 0.12 percent to finish at 1,536.22.

Shares of Toshiba slumped 11.6 percent after reports that the electronics giant was considering booking a goodwill impairment loss of up to 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) on its U.S. nuclear business.

Japan’s core consumer prices marked the ninth straight month of annual declines in November and household spending fell an annual 1.5 percent in the month while the jobless rate climbed to 3.1 percent from 3.0 percent in the previous month, a slew of reports showed. Housing starts logged its weakest growth in three months in November.

Seoul shares inched higher as foreign investors turned net buyers following a three-session selling streak. Institutional investors also remained net buyers to extend their buying streak to a fourth straight session.

The benchmark Kospi closed 4.42 points or 0.22 percent higher at 2,042.17. Investors shrugged off a central bank survey, which showed that a gauge of South Korean consumer sentiment hit the lowest level in nearly eight years.

India’s Sensex was rising 0.6 percent after falling by 234 points to hit a four-week low on Monday. Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index was rallying 1.3 percent due to year-end window dressing.

Malaysian shares were marginally higher and Singapore’s Straits Times index was moving up 0.1 percent while the Taiwan Weighted ended little changed with a negative bias.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX