Buying Interest Lifts Asian Markets
By Investors Hub
Asian markets ended mostly higher on Friday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street. Buying interest was a bit subdued in some of the markets in the region, with investors staying cautious due to concerns about global growth and doubts about U.S. and China agreeing on a long-term trade deal anytime soon.
Australian stocks ended notably higher, led by gains by financial, healthcare and energy shares. Information technology, telecom, resources and industrials shares exhibited a mixed trend.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index ended up 57.10 points or 1 percent at 5,654.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index closed with a gain of 53.90 points or 1 percent at 5,716.00.
Orocobre surged up 5.7 percent and Emeco Holdings gained 5 percent. Bega Cheese Limited shares ended 3.5 percent higher, Infigen Energy jumped 3.5 percent and Galaxy Resources added 3.3 percent.
The Chinese markets rebounded after the previous session’s setback, with the Shanghai Composite Index rising 10.81 points or 0.4 percent to 2,493.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 25.32 points or 0.1 percent to 25,504.20.
The markets were led higher by gains by financial, consumer staples, utilities, electricity and hospitality industry stocks, while information technology, insurance, energy and telecom stocks moved to the downside.
South Korean stocks ended notably higher, with the benchmark Kospi climbing 0.6 percent thanks to gains recorded by shares from the chemicals, heavy industries, computer services and construction sectors.
On the other hand, the Japanese markets ended lower, as investors took profits after recent strong gains. Some disappointing economic data also contributed to the weakness in the market. The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 62.85 points or 0.3 percent at 20,014.77.
Shares from the pharmaceuticals, power and retail sections lost ground, while Fujikura surged up 3.6 percent, Furukawa Electric jumped 4.2 percent and Toshiba Corp. spiked 3.5 percent.
Mitsui Mining, Nissan Chemicals, Yahoo Japan, Okuma Corp., Sumitomo Metal Mining, Nitto Denko, Nippon Electric Glass, TDK, Sumitomo Chemical, Advantest Corp. and JTEKT Corp. also moved to the upside.
J Front Retailing was the worst performer in the Nikkei index, tumbling by 9 percent. Sumitomo Dainippon ended lower by about 5.5 percent, and Sapporo Holdings, Familymart, TOTO, Takashimaya, Aeon and Otsuka Holdings also moved significantly lower.
On the economic front, the jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in November, according to data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Economists had expected the jobless rate to come in at 2.4 percent.
A report from the Ministry of Economy and Industry showed Japanese industrial production dropped by a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in November, exceeding expectations for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 2.9 percent jump in October. On yearly basis, industrial production was up 1.4 percent.
retail sales in Japan declined by a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in
November compared to a month earlier. That missed expectations for a
decline of 0.4 percent following the 1.3 percent increase in October.