By Kenan Machado
Asian stock markets closed mostly higher on Monday, largely shrugging off concerns over the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government.
However, Samsung Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 0.00% fell as fresh caution grew about demand for rival Apple’s most expensive iPhone.
Investors were generally looking past the U.S. budget impasse, with the situation largely seen as “political brinkmanship with little economic impact,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210673925/realtime XX:BUXX -0.16% was down 0.2%, while S&P 500 futures eased 0.1% and 10-year Treasury /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -1.12% ticked down to 2.65% from 2.66% earlier.
Samsung ended 2.2%, as South Korea’s Kospi index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.86% fell 0.7%. Before Monday, the benchmark had traded up in five of the past six days.
While the South Korean company has its own line of smartphones, it is also a global manufacturer of components. Samsung’s next-generation displays feature organic light-emitting diodes, or OLED. Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +2.39% uses Samsung’s technology for the iPhone X.
S.K. Kim, who tracks Samsung for Daiwa Securities, said there were some concerns Apple could stop using OLED screens because of quality issues.
They come as iPhone X sales continue to be a source of concern. After channel checks with Apple vendors by Taiwan-based Daiwa analyst Kylie Huang, the brokerage firm now expects first-quarter orders to be 20% to 30% below its previous forecasts.
Apple audio supplier AAC Technologies /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +0.49% rose 1% in Hong Kong, but Japan’s Alps Electric /zigman2/quotes/206929613/delayed JP:6770 -3.35% , which makes sensors, dropped 1.%. Smartphone-lens company Largan Precision /zigman2/quotes/210444196/delayed TW:3008 -0.59% ended flat and Apple product assembler Hon Hai /zigman2/quotes/207256514/delayed TW:2317 +0.13% dropped 0.3% in Taiwan.
That market, home to a number of companies in Apple’s supply chain, hit a 28-year high as the Taiex rose 0.7%, led by a 2.4% jump in Taiwan Semiconductor /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 -0.12% , its biggest component. The stock rallied 7.8% last week after strong fourth-quarter results.
Shares in Shenzhen rebounded strongly after a period in which Chinese investors focused on large-capitalization names, many of which are listed in Shanghai.
Bargain-hunting was occurring in Shenzhen, said First Shanghai Securities equities strategist Linus Yip, especially after a report last week showed the city’s economic output surpassed 2 trillion yuan ($313 billion) in 2017.
Shenzhen’s startup-heavy ChiNext price index hit a six-month low in morning trading and ended 2.3% higher.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.21% rose 0.4%, erasing an earlier loss. Chinese regulators fined Shanghai Pudong Development Bank /zigman2/quotes/204296742/delayed CN:600000 -0.32% 462 million yuan for falsifying loan applications and covering up bad-debt levels, sending the company’s shares down 3.6%. The penalty was actually good news for foreign investors as it indicates a move toward transparency, said a Singapore-based analyst with a foreign bank.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.0034% fell for a fifth straight session, down 0.2% to levels last seen in early December. The country’s big banks again fell.