Asian Markets Trade Mixed as Investors Await Friday’s OPEC Meeting

June 21, 2018

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks finished on a mixed note Thursday as traders waited for Friday’s OPEC meeting and new developments on global trade. Speculation of imminent monetary policy easing in China helped to limit overall losses to some extent.

Chinese shares hit a two-year closing low as trade war woes overshadowed media reports that Beijing will undertake measures to boost credit supply to smaller companies. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 40.12 points or 1.4 percent to 2,875.61, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 400.12 points or 1.4 percent to 29,296.05.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares eked out modest gains as the yen weakened and technology stocks followed their U.S. peers higher. The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 137.61 points or 0.61 percent to 22,693.04, although the broader Topix Index gave up earlier gains to end lower by 0.1 percent at 1,750.63.

Taiyo Yuden soared 4.3 percent and TDK Corp rallied 3.3 percent in the technology sector. Banks underperformed on a Nikkei report that bad debts from cash advances are piling up at the country’s largest banks. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial dropped 2.2 percent and rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial lost 2.4 percent.

Australian shares extended gains from the previous session to reach a fresh 10-year high. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 59.50 points or 1 percent to 6,232.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 0.9 percent to end at 6,332.90.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose about half a percent as iron ore prices turned higher. The big four banks ended up between half a percent and 1.4 percent.

Bellamy’s Australia soared 6.2 percent after it signed a deal with global dairy giant Fonterra to help Tasmanian farmers switch to organic practices. Outdoor advertising company APN Outdoor jumped over 12 percent after it received a $1.1 billion takeover offer from French advertising firm JCDecaux.

On the other hand, Atlas Iron dropped 2.2 percent after its board backed a takeover bid by billionaire Gina Rinehart. Mineral Resources declined 1.5 percent. Energy stocks turned in a mixed performance despite crude oil prices rising overnight.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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