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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Asia stocks mixed ahead of US jobs data

Asia stocks mixed ahead of US jobs data

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1Asia stocks mixed ahead of US jobs data Empty Asia stocks mixed ahead of US jobs data Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:25 am

Melissa Pereira


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics

Asian stocks were mixed yesterday as investors awaited the release of US jobs data, while the Bank of Japan held fire on a fresh round of stimulus. 


Investors were eyeing official US payroll data for the latest clues about the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike, widely expected by September or December. Tokyo recovered early losses to cap a second weekly advance, ending 0.29 percent, or 60.12 points, higher at 20,724.56. Sydney fell sharply, losing 2.41 percent, or 135.5 points, to 5,474.8 as banking shares weighed heavily on the benchmark S&P/ASX200. Seoul closed 0.15 percent lower, shedding 3.06 points to finish at 2,010.23. 


Hong Kong and China shares rebounded after the previous day’s losses, with the Hang Seng Index closing up 0.73 percent, or 177.19 points, at 24,552.47, while Shanghai ended the day 2.26 percent, or 82.66 points, higher at 3,744.20. After a two-day meeting, the Bank of Japan yesterday held off fresh easing measures, saying the world’s number three economy was steadily recovering. Analysts widely expect policymakers to act later in the year. BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda said he would consider expanding its record 80 trillion yen ($640 billion) annual asset-buying scheme if weak oil prices keep holding back inflation. “A lot of the move is coming from individual stocks,” Tokyo-based Mizuho Asset Management Co’s Seiichiro Iwamoto told Bloomberg News, referring to Friday’s rise in Japanese equities. 


“It’s still too early for the Bank of Japan to increase easing. It’ll likely come around October.” Meanwhile shares in Australia’s big four banks tumbled, led by ANZ, whose weaker than expected profits and Aus$3 billion ($2.2 billion) capital-raising programme to meet tougher regulatory requirements surprised the market. ANZ closed 7.49 percent lower at Aus$30.14, while shares in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 3.84 percent, Westpac dropped 3.26 percent and National Australia Bank closed down 2.29 percent. 


“The feeling among investors is (ANZ’s) capital raise isn’t enough,” T.S. Lim, a Sydney-based analyst at Bell Potter Securities, told Bloomberg News.   


Australia’s financial regulator last month said the nation’s biggest banks had to hold more capital reserves as part of a global move to strengthen the sector after the financial crisis. In Shanghai, Bloomberg News reported state-backed China Securities Finance Corp. (CSF), tasked with stabilising the market, is seeking an additional 2.0 trillion yuan ($322 billion), which would bring its support funds to 5.0 trillion yuan. 


China’s equities have been on a rollercoaster since Beijing launched a major package to stabilise markets after Shanghai collapsed in mid-June, falling some 30 percent in three weeks after a major rally in the first half of the year. Elsewhere, gold was set to post its seventh weekly decline -- its worst run in 11 years -- ahead of US jobs data Friday that will provide the Federal Reserve with guidance as to whether an interest rate hike is timely. Higher interest rates limit bullion’s appeal. The yellow metal fetched $1,089.64 an ounce compared with $1,085.75 late Thursday. In Tokyo forex trade, the dollar fetched 124.81 yen against 124.73 yen in New York late Thursday. 


The euro was changing hands at $1.0948 and 136.53 yen from $1.0923 and 136.25 yen. Oil prices looked set to continue a multi-week decline in Asian trade on concerns over a global oversupply of crude and mixed prospects for energy demand. 
Courtesy: Daily Mirror 8 August 2015

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