By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stock markets were mixed Monday, with markets in China starting a weeklong holiday and Hong Kong closed, leaving equities to trade on local factors over broader themes.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.78% was up 0.5% as the dollar continues to push higher against the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0465% , hitting levels not seen since last November, and helping Japan’s exporters. Drug, consumer and some electronic stocks led the gains, with drug maker Shionogi /zigman2/quotes/202489631/delayed JP:4507 -1.27% up 1.5% and chip maker Tokyo Electron /zigman2/quotes/202883609/delayed JP:8035 -0.43% up around 2%. Despite the currency moves, auto-maker stocks were weaker, as Subaru /zigman2/quotes/203522406/delayed JP:7270 -1.55% slumped 2%.
Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.24% quickly gave up initial gains and ended just in the red, with Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.75% down 0.2%, off its worst levels of the session by the close.
Following a modestly lower open, Australia’s stock benchmark took a decided turn lower as financials continued to give up the brief Friday afternoon surge seen following the release of the initial report on a misconduct probe of the banking sector. Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -1.76% , which before the report estimated A$235 million ($170 million) of earnings-related impacts from anticipated customer refunds, was down 1.5% to log the biggest drop among Australia’s big four. The ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.54% fell as much as 0.7% but closed off nearly 0.6%.