World Economy

Asia Shares Mostly Higher, Europe Sees Slight Rise

Pedestrians are reflected on a window displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on October 23, 2017. Pedestrians are reflected on a window displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on October 23, 2017.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Monday after the US Senate approved a budget blueprint that paves the way for tax cuts and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party scored a big win in the nationwide parliamentary election on Sunday, paving the way for a continuation of loose monetary policy.

Chinese shares finished marginally higher as home-price growth data disappointed investors and markets awaited cues from a key political congress. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 181 points or 0.64% at 28,305 in late trade, RTTNews reported.

Japanese shares rallied as the dollar hit a three-month high versus the yen following the weekend election victory for Shinzo Abe. The Nikkei average jumped 239 points or 1.11% to 21,696, extending gains for the 15th straight session and marking its longest winning streak on record—almost 22 years.

The broader Topix index closed 0.84% higher at 1,745.25. Exporters and banks led the gainers, with Panasonic, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rising about 2% each. 

Australian shares gave up early gains to end lower, dragged down by financials and real-estate stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 13 points or 0.22% to finish at 5,894 after reaching a near six-month high earlier in the day. The broader All Ordinaries index finished 11.40 points or 0.19% lower at 5,957.20.

ANZ Banking slid 0.2% after it settled court action over alleged interest rate rigging. Commonwealth bank lost 0.4% and Westpac declined 0.3%. Miners turned in a mixed performance despite Chinese iron ore futures climbing more than 5% on Friday.

Seoul stocks hit fresh record highs, led by gains in technology stocks. The benchmark Kospi closed marginally higher at 2,490.05, with chipmaker SK Hynix rallying as much as 4.3% to 84,700 won.

Hong Kong stocks fell after squeezing out a third-consecutive weekly advance last week, as investors looked to Beijing for developments at the Communist Party Congress.

The Hang Seng Index was down 0.7% to 28,295.84 by midday, with more than 40 of the gauge’s 50 constituents trading in the red.

 Slight Rise in Europe

European markets were higher Monday afternoon, as investors monitored fresh corporate earnings and awaited further developments from Spain’s ongoing constitutional crisis, CNBC reported.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up by around 0.3% during lunchtime deals with almost every sector and major bourses in positive territory.

Health care stocks were among the best performers, up 0.5% on earnings news. Dutch health and technology company, Philips, reported that its core profits rose 12% to €532 million ($626.11 million) in the third quarter. Its shares were over 1.5% higher on the news.

Europe’s banking index dipped 0.3% in early afternoon deals, as Spain’s banks led the losses amid ongoing political uncertainty. BBVA, Bankia and Banco de Sabadell were all more than 1% lower just after midday Monday. Spain’s IBEX slipped 0.2%.

Britain’s main share index started the week with a 0.1% gain, led by hopes of a breakup of engineering group GKN as further profit warnings, which have multiplied in the UK in recent weeks, kept gains in check.

Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were up about 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures were up about 0.2%.

Looking at individual stocks, Securitas surged towards the top of the European benchmark after it reported better-than-expected earnings over the weekend. The Swedish security services group said it gained market share in the US while core earnings were in line with expectations. Its shares were over 3% higher.


The dollar rose 0.4% to 113.91 yen, its highest since July, and edged up 0.3% against a basket of currencies. The euro fell 0.4% to $1.1742.

The stronger dollar also increased pressure on some emerging currencies, with the Turkish lira and stocks suffering amid lingering concerns over Ankara’s relationship with Washington.

The euro eased a modest 0.25% to $1.175 and has strong chart support around $1.173.

Britain’s pound edged lower against the dollar as worries over divisions within the ruling Conservative party as well as uncertainty over the Bank of England’s interest rate outlook left the currency on unsteady ground.

London copper traded up 0.4% after Chinese authorities reaffirmed that the country’s economy was on track to achieve the official growth target.

The MSCI Emerging Market index was down 0.1%.

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