Asia report: Markets move sideways as Korea tensions ease

Josh White Sharecast | 20 Apr, 2017 11:50 | | |

China, Shanghai, Asia
  • 19,383.84
  • -0.05%-9.29
  • Max: 19,437.25
  • Min: 19,361.95
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:43 22/08/17
  • 27,401.67
  • 0.91%246.99
  • Max: 27,509.06
  • Min: 27,316.08
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
10:21 22/08/17
  • 0.79
  • -0.18%-0.00
  • Max: 0.80
  • Min: 0.79
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
16:16 22/08/17
  • 109.36
  • 0.37%0.40
  • Max: 109.55
  • Min: 108.89
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
16:16 22/08/17
  • 1.76
  • -0.15%-0.00
  • Max: 1.76
  • Min: 1.76
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
16:15 22/08/17

Markets in Asia were little moved on Thursday, after a big earnings session on Wall Street overnight and oil prices picked up from fortnightly lows.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was almost flat, losing 0.01% to 18,430.49, while the yen was weaker on the greenback.

It was last 0.23% behind at JPY 109.11 per $1.

The country’s exports rose 12% year-on-year in March, according to fresh data on Thursday, making it the fourth consecutive month of rises.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.06% to 3,172.59, while the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite was off 0.19% at 1,928.10.

Cross-border capital flows had eased in China in the first quarter, a spokeswoman for the country’s foreign exchange regulator told local media late on Wednesday.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.5% to 2,149.15, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.97% to 24,056.98.

On the geopolitical front, the tensions on the Korean peninsula were quieting on Thursday, as news emerged that a group of US aircraft carriers were not bound for seas near the Koreas contrary to earlier reports.

Investors were instead turning their heads towards the first round of the French presidential elections this weekend, which could have an impact on the euro.

The centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and controversial far-right Marine Le Pen were tipped as the most likely to make it to the election’s second round, with Le Pen campaigning hard to exit the eurozone.

Oil prices had traded lower overnight after an unexpected increase in US petroleum inventories and production.

Brent crude was last 0.82% higher at $53.37 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate was up 0.7% at $51.21.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.3% at 5,821.39, with Rio Tinto closing down 0.39% in Sydney trade.

It came after it reported a 3% fall in iron ore production year-on-year, though it did not change its full-year guidance.

New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 fell 0.4% to settle at 7,188.06, with baby food and dairy products exporter A2 Milk losing 2.5%.

The company had been traded heavily among international investors in recent months, according to local media, as its distribution channels in China were seen as “robust” as consumer demand for infant formula there rose.

Both of the down under dollars were stronger against the greenback, with the Aussie moving ahead 0.19% to AUD 1.3312 and the Kiwi strengthening 0.14% to NZD 1.4260 per $1.

More news

15:31 BH Macro says 'political and economic uncertainties' lead to net asset value declines

Closed-ended investment company, BH Macro posted a "modest" decline in net asset value per share of 0.7% in its US dollar shares, while its sterling shares saw a more significant 4.2% drop over the first six months of the year.

15:30 Indonesian central bank springs surprise, cuts rates

Indonesia's central bankers surprised financial markets by lowering interest rates in South-East Asia's largest economy on Tuesday with some economists anticipating further cuts.

15:14 Benchmark subsidiary renews Great Salk Lake agreement

Benchmark Holdings announced on Tuesday that its wholly owned subsidiary, INVE Aquaculture, had successfully renewed its sales and marketing agreement with the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative.

15:07 Unite urges British Airways to 'pause for peace' over strike actions

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey has requested British Airways "pause for peace" in an effort to ease tension between the carrier and its mixed fleet cabin crew over pay disputes and sanctions handed down to workers who refuse to cross the picket line.

14:59 FTSE 250 movers: Kaz boosted by Goldman note; AA skids

London's FTSE 250 was up 0.5% to 19,743.36 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.

14:53 FTSE 100 movers: BHP Billiton shines on results; Provident Financial battered by profit warning

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.7% to 7,371.87 in afternoon trade as well-received results from BHP and Antofagasta helped to offset shocking losses for Provident Financial after a profit warning.

14:07 Persimmon builds up solid six months, profit margins impress

Persimmon’s profit before tax surged in the first half of the year as sales improved but profits margins leapt higher thanks to strong cost control.

13:32 Property slowdown fails to stop Abbey

Abbey PLC, the UK based building and property development firm, released its full results for the year ended 30 April on Tuesday that included €63.5m in pre-tax profit, an increase of 3% on the previous year.

13:30 Bushveld updates sales and marketing agreement with Wogen

Diversified mineral development company Bushveld Minerals announced on Tuesday that, following its previous announcement on 20 March regarding a definitive sales and marketing agreement with Wogen Resources, its subsidiary Bushveld Vametco had agreed with Wogen to retire in full the $3m prepayment facility and to simultaneously increase the Vametco Alloys working capital facility by same amount from $6m to $9m.

13:26 Kenmare Resources rides increased production levels into the black

Operators of the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine in northern Mozambique, Kenmare Resources posted an 82% increase in profit for the six months leading up to 30 June.