World Economy

Asia Markets Mixed Ahead of US-China Summit

Asia Markets Mixed Ahead of US-China SummitAsia Markets Mixed Ahead of US-China Summit

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday, with overnight declines in oil prices and a weak lead from Wall Street weighing on markets ahead of the first meeting later this week between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Japanese shares hit ten-week lows as the dollar extended overnight losses, automakers reported weaker-than-expected US sales and a drop in US Treasury yields weighed on financial stocks such as banks and insurers, RTT News reported.

The Nikkei average dropped 172.98 points or 0.91% to 18,810.25, the lowest level since Jan 24, while the broader Topix index closed 0.82% lower at 1,504.54.

Among financial stocks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mizuho Financial, Dai-ichi Life Holdings and T&D Holdings declined 1-3%.

Australian shares fell slightly as consumer confidence data disappointed investors and the Reserve Bank left its monetary policy unchanged for a seventh straight meeting in a widely expected decision.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 12.40 points or 0.21% to 5,858.70, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 13.90 points or 0.24% to finish at 5,895.80.

The big four banks fell between 0.3% and 0.9% while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ended marginally lower. Oil stocks also closed broadly lower.

Gold miners Newcrest Mining, Evolution, Northern Star and Regis Resources rallied 3-5% as the yellow metal hit a one-week high on a weaker dollar amid geopolitical worries.

Whitehaven Coal soared as much as 4.8% as Australian thermal coal prices hit a four-month high, driven by a disruption to domestic exports.

South Korea’s Kospi average dropped 6.41 points or 0.30% to 2,161.10 on increased selling by foreigners and institutions.

Chipmaker SK Hynix lost 1.5% and automaker Hyundai Motor tumbled 2.9%, while market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 1.5%.

Statistics Korea figures showed that consumer inflation in South Korea pushed higher in March to hit an almost five-year high, signaling a rebound in domestic demand. The headline index rose 2.2% from a year earlier, up from 1.9% in February.

New Zealand shares rose as investors chased companies offering high dividend yields. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 19.53 points or 0.27% to 7,244.54, with Chorus and Meridian Energy pacing gainers.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan were closed for public holidays. Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index was rising 0.7% while Malaysian shares were marginally lower and Singapore’s Straits Times index was down 0.2%.

US stocks began the second quarter on a lackluster note Monday, with a drop in bond yields as well as sluggish auto sales and manufacturing data weighing on markets.

The Dow slipped marginally, the S&P 500 shed 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.3%.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints