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June 9, 2016, 6:31 a.m. EDT

Asian markets wary, with all eyes on U.S., U.K.

U.S. recovery, Brexit loom large; bank stocks drag Nikkei

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By Kosaku Narioka


AFP/Getty Images
Asian investors are focusing on what will happen next overseas.

Asian markets mostly fell on Thursday amid continuing uncertainty over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery and ahead of looming major political events, such as a British referendum over whether or not to remain in the European Union.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.65%  fell 1%, while Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.53%  declined 0.2%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.90%  ended down 0.1% and New Zealand’s NZX50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.01%  lost 0.3%.

Markets were closed Thursday in mainland China and Hong Kong for the Dragon Boat Festival, and will remain closed on the mainland Friday.

Read: China’s consumer inflation slows in May

Concerns about the U.S. economy have grown quickly since the release on Friday of dismal U.S. jobs growth figures for May. While the initial negative markets reaction has run its course, uncertainty remains over the significance of the data for the economy.

Many market participants are also starting to refrain from aggressive betting ahead of significant political events in coming weeks, including the U.K. referendum later this month and Japan’s upper house election in July.

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India's Modi emphasizes terrorism fight in speech

In an address to a joint session of Congress, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged global cooperation in combating terrorism. Photo: Getty Images

“You’d need to see the main framework before betting. In fact, I suspect trading will be directionless like this until the U.S. presidential election,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co.

Policy makers around the world are under pressure to take steps to support their economies.

The dollar rose to 1,156.5 Korean won /zigman2/quotes/210561794/realtime/sampled USDKRW +0.2355%  from 1,152.5 following a surprise interest-rate cut by the Bank of Korea on Thursday. In its first rate cut in a year, South Korea’s central bank lowered its main policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25%, a fresh record low.

In Japan, financial stocks were dragging down the market. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 +0.61%  fell 3.3%. Major insurer Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201620552/delayed JP:8630 +0.44%  lost 3.2%.

Australian shares ended slightly down as declines in the country’s big banks countered gains by energy and mining stocks.

New Zealand shares ended slightly lower after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept rates steady at 2.25%.

Crude oil prices /zigman2/quotes/209725580/delayed CLQ26 -2.54% extended gains above $50 per barrel mark as strong China imports aided positive trading sentiment amid the continuing supply outages in Nigeria and falling U.S. crude oil inventories.

Gold stayed well above the psychological threshold of $1,250 a troy ounce in Asia trade after having crossed the level overnight.

India’s Sensex /zigman2/quotes/210597966/delayed IN:1 -0.06%  fell 0.8%. Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.5% and Vietnam’s index rose 0.5%

Bharat Petroleum Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204002483/delayed IN:500547 +0.80%   rose 2.4% after India’s central bank raised the ceiling on foreign investment in the company. The state-run oil refiner and marketer received approval to raise the limit for foreign institutional investors to 49% from 24% currently. The Indian government holds a 54.93% stake in the company.

—Biman Mukherji and Vibhuti Agarwal in New Delhi, Rebecca Thurlow in Sydney, and Robb M. Stewart in Melbourne contributed to this article.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
27,819.33
-180.63 -0.65%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 10, 2022 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,992.70
-37.10 -0.53%
Volume: 698,006
Aug. 10, 2022 5:28p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,480.88
-22.58 -0.90%
Volume: 479,467
Aug. 10, 2022 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed
NZ : New Zealand: NZX
11,752.09
-1.39 -0.01%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 10, 2022 5:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561794/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1,310.8100
+3.0800 +0.2355%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 10, 2022 8:00a
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/zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 713.50
+4.30 +0.61%
Volume: 31.98M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
10.63
Dividend Yield
4.48%
Market Cap
¥9043.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥44.87M
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/zigman2/quotes/201620552/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 5,723.00
+25.00 +0.44%
Volume: 934,700
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.53
Dividend Yield
4.54%
Market Cap
¥1937.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥87.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209725580/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 69.71
-1.82 -2.54%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 9, 2022 5:07p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597966/delayed
IN : India: Bombay
58,817.29
-35.78 -0.06%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 10, 2022 3:31p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204002483/delayed
IN : India: Bombay
328.35
+2.60 +0.80%
Volume: 75,210
Aug. 10, 2022 3:30p
P/E Ratio
25.78
Dividend Yield
4.87%
Market Cap
₹706.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
₹146.18M
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