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Sept. 2, 2016, 5:58 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks waver with U.S. jobs report on deck

Rising yen, lower oil prices weigh on shares

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By Kenan Machado


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Asian markets had teetered on the edge between gains and losses Friday.

Asian shares were mixed Friday as traders awaited the latest U.S. jobs report, the strength of which could help determine the timing of the next interest-rate increase.

A sooner-than-expected rate increase in September by the Federal Reserve could pull foreign capital out of emerging markets in Asia, analysts say, though a December rate increase would have already been priced in by investors.

Read: What the jobs report will tell us about the Fed and the economy

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.21% fell 0.8%, the Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.96%   closed flat, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.33%   was last down 0.5%.

Banking shares in Australia underperformed, dragging the index lower to end the week down 2.6%.

Higher rates in the U.S. could lead to a sell-off in Australian equities and bonds, hurting the local currency and weigh on the foreign returns at local banks.

Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -0.80%   and National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +0.32%  each fell 1.1%, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA +1.38%  and Australia & New Zealand Banking /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ -1.21%  both lost 0.8%.

In South Korea, the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.33% ended up 0.3%, after the government revised its second-quarter economic growth figure to 3.3% on year, compared with 3.2% earlier. Friday’s gains helped the benchmark index reverse losses for the week to end up 0.1%.

There is wide consensus among analysts that the U.S. central bank will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point in December, though opinion is divided over a rate increase in September.

Despite two strong jobs readings previously, disappointing economic growth in the first half and turmoil in overseas markets have kept the Fed on hold.

“The Fed had previously stated that the September rate hike would depend on the jobs data,” said Alex Wijaya, a senior sales trader at CMC Markets. A strong jobs report on Friday will be critical to the decision of raising rates this month, he said.

More than interest rates, the stability of the U.S. dollar will likely impact trading strategies in Asia, analysts say.

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“One of the reasons for the good performance of the Asian markets was the relative stability of the U.S. dollar,” said Frank Benzimra,head of Asia equity strategy at Société Générale. A rate increase in the U.S. would send the dollar higher, affecting Asian currencies and markets, he said.

Meanwhile, a recovery in crude prices in Asian trade helped lift energy stocks, with Australia’s Oil Search rising 0.5%.

Crude oil /zigman2/quotes/209726727/delayed CLV26 0.00%   prices gave up early gains but were still in the positive in Asia. The price of Brent  , the global crude-oil benchmark, rose by about 0.3% to $45.58 a barrel.

Early in Friday’s session, the Japanese yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.5790%   rose against the U.S. dollar, weighing on exports stocks, though the currency later pared some of its gains.

Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -0.87%   fell 0.6% with Sharp /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 -0.19%   down 0.7%. However, Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -1.76%  bucked the market’s weakness to gain 1.5%, lifted by increased confidence in its business prospects.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.80%  was up 0.3% gained 0.3%, on track to its highest closing level in nearly a year, led by conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings /zigman2/quotes/208405501/delayed HK:1 0.00% . The stock was up 2.8% after European regulators on Thursday approved the company’s Italian telecommunications joint venture.

Goldman Sachs said the approval was line with its expectations, and has kept the stock, which is controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, rated as a “conviction buy.”

— Rob M. Stewart, Ese Erheriene and John Wu contributed to this article.

/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,112.80
-14.90 -0.21%
Volume: 739,018
Aug. 18, 2022 5:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
28,942.14
-280.63 -0.96%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 18, 2022 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
3,273.48
+10.72 +0.33%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 18, 2022 5:20p
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/zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 22.34
-0.18 -0.80%
Volume: 5.32M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.09
Dividend Yield
5.42%
Market Cap
$78.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$646,763
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/zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 31.42
+0.10 +0.32%
Volume: 4.81M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
15.93
Dividend Yield
4.46%
Market Cap
$99.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$620,376
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/zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 100.99
+1.37 +1.38%
Volume: 2.81M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
17.02
Dividend Yield
3.81%
Market Cap
$169.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$592,974
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/zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 23.58
-0.29 -1.21%
Volume: 6.74M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
10.59
Dividend Yield
6.11%
Market Cap
$68.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$612,715
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,508.05
-8.42 -0.33%
Volume: 381,627
Aug. 18, 2022 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/209726727/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 69.40
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 17, 2022 5:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
135.8450
+0.7820 +0.5790%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 18, 2022 1:24p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,667.00
-32.00 -0.87%
Volume: 3.16M
Aug. 18, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
9.93
Dividend Yield
3.27%
Market Cap
¥6375.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥72.53M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,049.00
-2.00 -0.19%
Volume: 1.52M
Aug. 18, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
8.13
Dividend Yield
3.81%
Market Cap
¥682.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥51.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 11,750.00
-210.00 -1.76%
Volume: 2.35M
Aug. 18, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
16.52
Dividend Yield
0.60%
Market Cap
¥14833.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥91.61M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
19,763.91
-158.54 -0.80%
Volume: 1.59M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208405501/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
$ 52.10
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 1.70M
Aug. 18, 2022 4:08p
P/E Ratio
5.83
Dividend Yield
5.18%
Market Cap
$199.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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