Asian Shares Finish Mixed as Oil Prices Surge

March 21, 2018

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as oil prices surged and investors braced for an increase interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Japanese markets were closed to mark the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 9.05 points or 0.3 percent to 3,281.59, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 135.41 points or 0.4 percent to 31,414.52.

Meanwhile, Australian shares ended higher in thin trading ahead of the Federal Reserve decision on interest rates and guidance.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index rose 13.90 points or 0.2 percent to 5,950.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 12.30 points or 0.20 percent at 6,053.10.

The big four banks rose between 0.6 percent and 1 percent, while mining heavyweight Rio Tinto ended on a flat note after ruling out a special dividend before the company’s half-year results in August.

Steelmaker Bluescope Steel jumped 4.4 percent as Morgan Stanley started coverage on the stock with an overweight rating.

Nufarm rallied 5.5 percent after the agricultural chemical supplier said it remained confident of earnings growth in the full year.

On the other hand, department store chain Myer Holdings tumbled 3.5 percent on reporting a net loss for the first half on impairments and lower sales.

Crown Resorts lost about 1 percent after news that billionaire James Packer has resigned as director of the casino operator.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

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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