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Feb. 24, 2012, 4:08 a.m. EST

Asia markets edge higher in choppy session

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By Virginia Harrison and Nick Godt, MarketWatch

MUMBAI (MarketWatch) — Asia markets ended modestly higher after a choppy session on Friday, with some energy shares supported as oil prices continued to rise, while recent strength limited sharper gains.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.43%  gained 0.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +0.26% rose 1.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.07% ended up 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.46% added 0.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.89% rose 0.5%.

“Asian markets have performed quite strongly over the past few weeks,” said Conita Hung, head of equity markets at Delta Asian Financial Group in Hong Kong. “It’s hard to enter into the markets at these levels,” she said, adding selected stocks in “energy and raw materials were still gaining some support.”

The performance in Asia comes after U.S. shares had advanced on Thursday, with the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.47%  near 10-month highs, as better-than-expected jobs and home-price data buoyed sentiment. Read more on the U.S. session.

A key index of German business confidence also beat expectations, shedding positive light on Europe’s largest economy. Read more on German business confidence.

“Optimism keeps going with solid data in Europe and the US,” Kintai Cheung, a strategist at Credit Agricole said. “As Greek crisis appears to be easing, more attention may shift to the tensions in Iran, which had pushed up oil prices sharply.”

Resources rally

Surging oil prices helped boost some Asian energy shares. Benchmark crude-oil futures /zigman2/quotes/209724585/delayed CLJ22 +0.33%  broke through $108 a barrel in electronic trading, after hitting a nine-month high in New York trading. Read more on Thursday's oil session.

Tokyo-listed Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 +0.05%   /zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed IPXHY +0.37%  rose 5.1% and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. /zigman2/quotes/201212147/delayed JP:1662 -0.80% /zigman2/quotes/202925532/delayed JPTXF -1.12% added 3%.

In Sydney, AGL Energy Ltd. traded down 4.7% after the firm posted a drop in first-half net profit and said it will raise 1.5 billion Australian dollars ($1.6 billion) from share issues to help buy Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s /zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed JP:9501 -0.46% /zigman2/quotes/204529331/delayed TKECF +0.05%  interest in the Loy Yang power station. Shares of Tokyo Electric Power, better known as Tepco, lost 2.4% in Japan trading.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed AU:NCM 0.00%   /zigman2/quotes/203286036/delayed NCMGY +2.85%  dropped 4.3% in Sydney after the gold miner said difficulties at its Lihir mine were expected to impair quarterly production.

But metals shares moved higher in Tokyo, with Nippon Steel Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed JP:5401 -3.58%   /zigman2/quotes/203679980/delayed NISTF +1.77%   gaining 3.5% and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd.   up 3.7%.

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Exporters gain

Among exporters making ground in Tokyo, Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +1.45%   /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SNE +0.65%  got a 3% bounce, Pioneer Corp.     rose 2.5% and Mazda Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 -0.11%   /zigman2/quotes/206326885/delayed MZDAY -0.13% climbed 0.7%.

J. Front Retailing Co. /zigman2/quotes/209287176/delayed JP:3086 -0.31%  rose 1.5% on a Nikkei business daily report that it would buy shopping-mall firm Parco Co. /zigman2/quotes/201741999/delayed JP:8251 +0.16% , paying a sharp premium for some of the shares. Shares of Parco remained bid-only at the end of the morning trading session in Tokyo.

In Hong Kong, Esprit Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205943307/delayed HK:330 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/206195919/delayed ESPGY +5.26% recovered from an earlier slump to end fractionally higher. Several brokers, including UBS and Citigroup downgraded the stock after the fashion retailer posted a 74% drop in first-half net profit on Thursday. Read more on Esprit’s profit plunge.

Property developers dragged in Hong Kong. Sino Land Co. /zigman2/quotes/202960683/delayed HK:83 +0.36%   /zigman2/quotes/206858840/delayed SNLAY -0.45%  dropped 1.1% and Hang Lung Properties Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200230831/delayed HK:101 +0.33%   /zigman2/quotes/205863241/delayed HLPPY +0.09%  eased 1%.

“Most Hong Kong investors are waiting to see HBSC’s /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -1.30%  result on Monday, they are sidelined ahead of the result which may have a major impact on the market,” Delta Asian Financial Group’s Hung said.

/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,144.60
+30.90 +0.43%
Volume: 1,232
Feb. 20, 2020 8:58a
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/zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed
CN : China: Shenzhen
¥ 15.24
+0.04 +0.26%
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¥294.97 billion
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KR : Korea Exchange
2,210.34
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Feb. 19, 2020 3:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
27,655.81
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Volume: 1.47M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
23,400.70
+206.90 +0.89%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,386.15
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Volume: 1.73B
Feb. 19, 2020 5:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209724585/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 51.70
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Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,042.00
+0.50 +0.05%
Volume: 3.13M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.69
Dividend Yield
3.45%
Market Cap
¥1520.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥291.81M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 9.44
+0.04 +0.37%
Volume: 4,549
Feb. 19, 2020 3:46p
P/E Ratio
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1.88%
Market Cap
$13.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
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loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201212147/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,732.00
-22.00 -0.80%
Volume: 175,900
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
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Market Cap
¥157.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥156.48M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202925532/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 21.16
-0.24 -1.12%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 30, 2019 5:19p
P/E Ratio
6.63
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
$1.42M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 437.00
-2.00 -0.46%
Volume: 3.83M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
3.81
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
¥703.37 billion
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¥149.25M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204529331/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.01
+0.0020 +0.05%
Volume: 0.00
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P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
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Rev. per Employee
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loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203840223/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 28.17
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 19,900
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P/E Ratio
27.04
Dividend Yield
1.17%
Market Cap
$21.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203286036/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 19.15
+0.53 +2.85%
Volume: 79,050
Feb. 19, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
26.34
Dividend Yield
1.01%
Market Cap
$14.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,401.50
-52.00 -3.58%
Volume: 6.29M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.71%
Market Cap
¥1338.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
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loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203679980/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 13.81
+0.24 +1.77%
Volume: 3.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$12.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
$582,908
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 7,370.00
+105.00 +1.45%
Volume: 4.91M
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Market Cap
¥8909.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
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loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
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+0.43 +0.65%
Volume: 1.23M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
14.06
Dividend Yield
0.40%
Market Cap
$81.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$654,652
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 883.00
-1.00 -0.11%
Volume: 2.25M
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.46
Dividend Yield
3.96%
Market Cap
¥556.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥71.32M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206326885/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.97
-0.0050 -0.13%
Volume: 137,014
Feb. 19, 2020 3:56p
P/E Ratio
9.89
Dividend Yield
2.77%
Market Cap
$5.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$646,191
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209287176/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,300.00
-4.00 -0.31%
Volume: 926,800
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
12.95
Dividend Yield
2.77%
Market Cap
¥341.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥68.57M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201741999/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,846.00
+3.00 +0.16%
Volume: 102,300
Feb. 19, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
57.05
Dividend Yield
0.70%
Market Cap
¥186.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥41.39M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205943307/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 1.40
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 1.89M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
HK$2.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.22M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206195919/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 0.39
+0.02 +5.26%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 23, 2020 3:38p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$340.12 million
Rev. per Employee
$282,717
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202960683/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 11.02
+0.04 +0.36%
Volume: 3.65M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
10.68
Dividend Yield
4.99%
Market Cap
HK$76.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$1.73M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206858840/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 7.22
-0.03 -0.45%
Volume: 5,601
Feb. 19, 2020 3:55p
P/E Ratio
10.97
Dividend Yield
4.43%
Market Cap
$9.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$220,266
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200230831/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 18.18
+0.06 +0.33%
Volume: 2.94M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
13.25
Dividend Yield
4.18%
Market Cap
HK$81.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.12M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205863241/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 11.71
+0.01 +0.09%
Volume: 19,979
Feb. 19, 2020 3:51p
P/E Ratio
11.99
Dividend Yield
3.89%
Market Cap
$10.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$270,442
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 57.00
-0.75 -1.30%
Volume: 69.76M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
24.69
Dividend Yield
6.95%
Market Cap
HK$1173.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.88M
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Virginia Harrison is a MarketWatch reporter based in Sydney. Nick Godt is a MarketWatch reporter based in Mumbai.

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