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
  • 20,110.51
  • -0.14%-28.28
  • Max: 20,191.42
  • Min: 20,107.89
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
09:44 22/06/17
  • 25,674.53
  • -0.08%-20.05
  • Max: 25,867.94
  • Min: 25,597.46
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
10:20 22/06/17
  • 0.75
  • -0.00%-0.00
  • Max: 0.75
  • Min: 0.75
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
01:17 23/06/17
  • 111.27
  • -0.02%-0.02
  • Max: 111.32
  • Min: 111.27
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
01:18 23/06/17
  • 1.74
  • -0.06%-0.00
  • Max: 1.75
  • Min: 1.74
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
01:17 23/06/17

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

22 Jun US close: Markets end Thursday slightly lower

Wall Street's main indices finished slightly lower on Thursday, against a backdrop of solid readings on the jobs and housing markets.

22 Jun Europe close: Stocks edge higher

European markets finished the session slightly higher for the most part, against a backdrop of positive economic data and heavy news-flow news regarding continued deal-making in the corporate space.

22 Jun FX round-up: Sterling mixed, prone to volatility as PM May heads Brussels

Sterling had a mixed Thursday as PM Theresa May went to Brussels to unveil to European leaders her allegedly more generous plans for the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

22 Jun London close: FTSE scrapes along as PM takes her Brexit show to Brussels

The FTSE scraped along to a lower close as PM Theresa May looked took her Brexit and hung-parliament show to Brussels.

22 Jun Commodities: Crude gets a Thursday fillip higher, but downside risk remains

Prices of crude oil got a Thursday fillip higher as investors took some note of recent falls in US inventories, but nonetheless remain mindful of the black liquid's potential for further declines.

22 Jun Union alleges serious decline in construction inspections

The Unite union issued a statement on Thursday, confirming it was seeking “urgent meetings” with ministers and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a freedom of information (FOI) request revealed a “sharp drop” in construction inspections.

22 Jun EVR virtual reality platform enters global partnership with Microsoft

Virtual reality content creator EVR Holdings announced on Thursday that its subsidiary MelodyVR had entered into a global partnership and ‘Windows Mixed Reality App’ collaboration agreement with Microsoft Corporation.

22 Jun FTSE 250 movers: Rotork boosted by upgrade; JD Sports goes ex-div

London's FTSE 250 down 0.1% to 19,664.53 in afternoon trade.

22 Jun TP Group added to MOD supplier framework

Specialist services and engineering company TP Group announced on Thursday that it had been awarded listing on the ‘Multi-Participant Framework Agreement’ for technical support (FATS/5).

22 Jun Friday preview: Eurozone and US flash PMIs to give early GDP growth reading

The UK corporate diary is all but empty on Friday, with most financial events happening away on foreign shores, with first 'flash' readings of June surveys for the eurozone and US.