Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets Open in:

Asia Markets Archives | Email alerts

Feb. 9, 2017, 4:28 a.m. EST

Asian markets rise in light trading, as investors search for cues

Nikkei falls as yen gain hits exporters, ahead of Abe’s summit with Trump

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    KOSPI Composite Index (180721)
  • X
    Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP)
  • X
    S&P/ASX 200 Benchmark Index (XJO)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Willa Plank


Getty Images
Asian investors haven’t had much room to operate this year.

Asian stocks were mildly higher Thursday as traders sought trading cues, even as Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was pressured lower by the yen’s strength.

“We sort of need a trigger,” said Christoffer Moltke-Leth, director of global sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets. “I think [the market] will be driven very much by individual company news....It will be a stock picker’s market.”

Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.24%   was up 0.5%, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.74%   was 0.5% higher, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.54%  added 0.2%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.78%   was down 0.5%.

Trading volumes this year have been relatively low despite the push higher last month on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump would implement policies to stimulate the economy. For the year to date, Hang Seng Index volumes are down 21% from their two-year average, while S&P/ASX 200 volumes are off 16%, according to Thomson Reuters. Nikkei volumes are down 6% in the year to date from their one-year average.

“The big picture is we’ve arrived at an equilibrium point,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. “I think the market will be reluctant [to go] into higher ground because we are already fairly high,” added Spooner. “People are concentrating switching stocks in [their] portfolio for value.”

That said, Hong Kong’s H-share market (Hong Kong-traded stocks of firms incorporated in China) have had a bullish start to the year. The H-share tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises Index is up 1.4% Thursday, and is up 7.4% in the year to date.

The MSCI China Index, which tracks offshore-listed China equities, is up about 8.8% in the year to date — making it the best performing country among those in the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.59%   was trading up 0.2%, buoyed by gains of Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +5.23%   and some financial stocks, including China Construction Bank /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 +0.15%   .

In Japan, overnight yen strength hit export-focused shares, with auto stocks in particular leading the broader market down. The Topix subindex for transportation equipment was off 1.6%. Honda Motor /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -1.50%   was off 1.6%. Honda Motor /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -1.50%  was down 2%, and Subaru-brand car maker Fuji Heavy Industries /zigman2/quotes/203522406/delayed JP:7270 -1.55%   was 3.7% lower. Auto brake materials maker Nisshinbo /zigman2/quotes/201343580/delayed JP:3105 -0.13%   was down 4.3% following news that it has decided to pull back plans for a Mexico plant.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is meeting Trump in Washington, D.C. on Friday, and the summit is being watched very closely, especially after Trump unnerved Tokyo officials with accusation that Japan had unfairly influenced financial markets and the yen to help its exporters beat U.S. companies. Analysts say Japanese officials don’t want the yen to weaken ahead of that meeting; the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0307%  has strengthened slightly against the dollar since the Tokyo share market closed on Wednesday was trading at ¥112.09.

The New Zealand dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561822/realtime/sampled USDNZD +0.0153%  weakened by over 0.7% against its U.S. counterpart to NZ$0.7240 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy meeting saw its cash rate target maintained at 1.75% as widely expected and the bank reiterated that “a decline in the exchange rate is needed”.

However, the February Monetary Policy Statement was more cautious than the November statement, which undermined New Zealand dollar. The RBNZ highlighted that “monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period.” In November, the RBNZ wasn’t as specific on the timing, instead stating “monetary policy will continue to be accommodative.”

Looking ahead, investors could take cues from Chinese trade data due Friday. China’s January exports in dollar terms are expected to rise 3.1% compared with a year ago, while imports are expected to rise 10% for a trade surplus of $50 billion.

/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,158.88
-5.29 -0.24%
Volume: 670,044
July 8, 2020 3:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,403.44
+58.10 +1.74%
Volume: 58.71B
July 8, 2020 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
5,920.30
-92.60 -1.54%
Volume: 777,765
July 8, 2020 5:14p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,438.65
-176.04 -0.78%
Volume: 0.00
July 8, 2020 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,129.18
+153.52 +0.59%
Volume: 2.59M
July 8, 2020 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 543.00
+27.00 +5.23%
Volume: 27.61M
July 8, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
48.89
Dividend Yield
0.22%
Market Cap
HK$4925.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$8.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 6.57
+0.01 +0.15%
Volume: 431.25M
July 8, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.40
Dividend Yield
5.32%
Market Cap
HK$1644.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$3.31M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,726.00
-41.50 -1.50%
Volume: 3.94M
July 8, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.53
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥4857.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,726.00
-41.50 -1.50%
Volume: 3.94M
July 8, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.53
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥4857.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203522406/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,222.00
-35.00 -1.55%
Volume: 1.95M
July 8, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
11.17
Dividend Yield
4.50%
Market Cap
¥1762.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥95.93M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201343580/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 770.00
-1.00 -0.13%
Volume: 890,600
July 8, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.90%
Market Cap
¥131.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥24.68M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
107.5490
+0.0330 +0.0307%
Volume: 0.0000
July 8, 2020 4:54a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561822/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.5279
+0.0002 +0.0153%
Volume: 0.0000
July 8, 2020 4:54a
loading...

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Markets

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

World News from MarketWatch

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.