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Asian Stock Markets Reverse Early Losses to Finish Higher

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks reversed early losses to end mostly higher on Friday after China eased restrictions on foreign investment in sectors including banking, automotive, heavy industry and agriculture amid scrutiny from its top trading partners.

The United States and the European Union have been complaining that Beijing limits foreign firms’ ability to enter the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied 61.41 points or 2.2 percent to finish at 2,848.43, the largest single-day gain since August 2016, as authorities eased foreign investment curbs.

Speculation was also rife that the People’s Bank of China will lower the reserve ratios for some banks next week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 457.79 points or 1.6 percent to 28,955.

Japanese shares rebounded from early losses to finish modestly higher as the yen fell out of favor and EU leaders reached a deal on migration after more than 12 hours of negotiations.

The Nikkei 225 Index edged up 34.12 points or 0.2 percent to 22,304.51, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,730.89.

Air-conditioner maker Fujitsu General jumped 3.7 percent after the rainy season ended in Kanto-Koshin region 22 days earlier than average.

Sharp Corp soared 15.2 percent after the company cancelled plans to raise as much as 200 billion yen in a public share sale, citing a volatile market due to U.S.-China trade tensions.

In economic news, Japan’s unemployment rate decreased to the lowest level in nearly twenty-six years in May, a government report showed. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 2.2 percent from 2.5 percent in April.

Industrial production dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent month-over-month in May, reversing a 0.5 percent increase in April, another report showed. It was the first decline in four months.

Meanwhile, Australian shares fell modestly, dragged down by healthcare and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 20.80 points or 0.3 percent to 6,194.60, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 16.10 points or 0.3 percent at 6,289.70.

Healthcare stocks extended recent losses, with CSL and Sonic Healthcare ending down 1.1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Energy stocks fell modestly on profit taking as oil prices dipped on concerns about trade frictions between the U.S. and other major economies.

Banks also closed mostly lower, with ANZ falling as much as 1.5 percent. Investment bank Macquarie Group lost 2.4 percent after hitting a record high in the previous session. Fortescue Metals Group shed 2.2 percent after Atlas Iron’s board unanimously backed Gina Rinehart’s A$390 million takeover bid for the company.

On the other hand, BHP Billiton rose 0.3 percent after it agreed to pay $158 million in remediation and compensation to the Brazilian non-profit foundation it set up in response to the 2015 Samarco mine dam collapse.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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