Asia report: Most markets lower as geopolitical tensions linger

Josh White Sharecast | 19 Apr, 2017 12:02 - Updated: 12:02 | | |

Mike Pence Vicepresidente Estados Unidos
  • 19,470.41
  • -1.18%-232.22
  • Max: 19,543.13
  • Min: 19,433.09
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:44 18/08/17
  • 27,047.57
  • -1.08%-296.65
  • Max: 27,236.32
  • Min: 26,951.92
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
10:21 18/08/17
  • 0.79
  • n/an/a
  • Max: 0.79
  • Min: 0.79
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
23:00 18/08/17
  • 109.18
  • n/an/a
  • Max: 109.60
  • Min: 108.61
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
23:00 18/08/17
  • 1.76
  • 0.35%0.01
  • Max: 1.76
  • Min: 1.75
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
22:19 20/08/17

Most markets in Asia finished lower on Wednesday, taking cues from a red session on Wall Street overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was almost flat, managing a 0.07% rise to 18,432.20, while the broader Topix finished down 0.01% at 1,471.42.

Commodity traders were under pressure, with Itochu down 0.83% and Mitsubishi off 1.18%.

Technology firm Sharp rocketed ahead 7.44% while its struggling peer Toshiba was up 4.87%, after reports emerged that Sharp was considering an investment in Toshiba’s valuable memory chip business.

Toshiba has been courting suitors for the division in recent months, in a bid to help solve a cash crisis caused by its failed US nuclear development arm Westinghouse.

The yen was weaker against the greenback, last retreating 0.42% to JPY 108.89 per $1.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.79% to 3,171.31, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite was down 0.72% at 1,932.46.

South Korea’s Kospi was off 0.47% at 2,138.40, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.41% softer at 23,825.88.

Geopolitical tensions between the US and a belligerent North Korea were still hanging in the air, with American Vice President Mike Pence arriving in Tokyo after spending time in South Korea and at the demilitarised zone which divides the peninsula.

In Japan, he reassured the country of the US commitment to keep North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear plans in check, adding that recent American strikes in Afghanistan and Syria were proof of its resolve on the international front.

North Korea had recently tested a number of nuclear and missile tests, despite UN sanctions and concern from various neighbouring countries.

Oil prices were higher, with Brent crude last up 0.42% at $55.12 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate adding 0.3% to $52.57.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 ended down 0.56% to 5,804.01, with some resources stocks coming under pressure.

Newcrest was down 0.54% and BHP Billiton was virtually flat in Sydney, after Citi reiterated its bearish outlook on iron ore on Tuesday - though it did raise its forecast to $70 a tonne from $65 for 2017.

Newcrest was also under pressure from a research note from Morgans on Tuesday, which referred to a “large seismic event” at its Cadia East property last week.

Morgans analysts assumed a two-month production interruption as a result, adding that Cadia was responsible for 31% of Newcrest’s production and 49% of its EBITDA.

New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was down 0.2% at 7,218.52, with one of the country’s largest companies Fletcher Building losing 3% amid fears it was vulnerable to a corporate raid.

The down under dollars were both weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie retreating 0.54% to AUD 1.3298 and the Kiwi weakening 0.35% to NZD 1.4253 per $1.

More news

20:21 Sunday newspaper round-up: Bank of England, BT, Channel 4, Daily Mail and General Trust

A boom in cheap loans provided by the Bank of England is fuelling Britain’s consumer debt bubble. High street lenders have ramped up their use of a special lending facility created by Mark Carney, the Bank governor, after Britain’s vote for Brexit. They have now borrowed more than £72bn from the Term Funding Scheme (TFS), an analysis of public disclosures reveals - a 30% jump since the end of March. - The Sunday Times

19 Aug US close: Stocks end lower despite Bannon departure

Wall Street slipped slight lower heading into the weekend as traders tried to figure out the implications of recent events on Capitol Hill and weighed the unexpected departure of White House chief strategist Steven Bannon.

18 Aug Europe close: Stocks edge slightly higher at the end of the session

Stocks pared early losses as traders digested a terrorist attack on Barcelona overnight and monitored the news-flow coming from the White House.

18 Aug Weeky review

The FTSE 100 finished the week almost flat, up 14.02 points or 0.19%, at 7,323.98.

18 Aug London close: Risk aversion grips FTSE, stocks lower on Trump and Barcelona attacks

London's FTSE 100 index fell below a key technical level as Friday's session wore on, with travel stocks leading the retreat after the terror attacks in Barcelona and the large cabal of overseas focused companies hit by the dollar's weakness amid renewed concerns about the US Presidency.

18 Aug BowLeven appoints new director

AIM-listed oil and gas group, BowLeven announced on Friday that Matt McDonald would be appointed to the firm's board as non-executive director with immediate effect.

18 Aug Week ahead: Not everything that happens at Jackson Hole stays there

In the coming week, the spotlight will be on the Federal Reserve bank of Kansas City's Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

18 Aug Acacia remains a 'buy' for HSBC but target price slashed

HSBC cut its target price for Acacia Mining by 47% but kept its 'buy' recommendation in place as the months-long spat with the Tanzanian government still hangs over the company.

18 Aug US open: Stocks flat heading into the weekend, political ruckus weighs

Wall Street is essentially flat heading into the weekend after the head of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey said recent events in Charlottesville were likely to take their toll on sentiment.

18 Aug FTSE 250 movers: Hikma still looking ill; Kaz Minerals buffs up

Hikma Pharmaceuticals shares continued their downward spiral as HSBC slashed their target price, telling clients its first half numbers contained lower guidance for generics and a tougher outlook for injectables and branded drugs.