Asian markets fell yesterday Wednesday August 15 despite better-than-expected US and European data, while Standard Chartered Bank rebounded after settling claims it helped Iranian firms dodge US sanctions.
With many traders away for summer breaks volume was light and movement limited, while Wall Street offered little guidance with a mixed finish.
Tokyo shares closed flat after trading in a tight range with many investors away for their summer holidays.
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.05 per cent, or 4.84 points, to 8,925.04, while the Topix index of all first section shares slipped 0.29 per cent or 2.21 points to 747.32.
Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets, told Dow Jones Newswires that “there should be few concerns over the continuation of the uptrend”, with key resistance seen at 9,200.
Chinese shares closed down as worries over the domestic economy persisted. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.10 per cent, or 23.58 points, to 2,118.95.
“The market lacks upward momentum as an earlier anticipated reserve requirement ratio cut did not materialise,” Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing said.
“The current weak trend will likely continue,” he added.
Despite yesterday’s weak performance in the region, analysts expected market sentiment to remain largely positive.
HONG KONG: STOCKS closed down 1.18 per cent yesterday on profit-taking after recent strong gains, but shares in Standard Chartered bucked the trend and rose sharply after the bank settled its New York case.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 239.39 points to end at 20,052.29.
London-based Standard Chartered ended 3.56 per cent higher at HK$171.7.
Analysts predicted sentiment would stay positive in the near future amid high hopes of intervention from the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and China to boost their economies.
SINGAPORE: MOST Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker yesterday, with Singapore dropping almost 1 per cent, led down by palm oil firm Wilmar International Ltd which came under selling pressure due to worse-than-expected quarterly earnings.
The Straits Times Index ended three sessions of gains. – closing 0.83 per cent, or 25.73 points, lower at 3,062.11.
Wilmar shares clawed back some ground to close down 7.08 per cent or, 24 cents, to S$3.15, after plunging as much as 10 per cent earlier.
KUALA LUMPUR: SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia closed lower, reflecting the weakness in regional bourses, dealers said.
However, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 0.88 point higher at a new-all-time high of 1,653.78, driven by gains in selected heavyweights.
Dealers said market breath was bearish as investors lost hope for more stimulus measures expected from policymakers in major economies to spur weak global economic growth.
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz announced that the Malaysian economy recorded a higher-than-expected second quarter growth of 5.4 per cent.
The Finance Index declined 29.69 points to 14,787.10, the Industrial Index eased 14.48 points to 2,903.48 and the Plantation Index fell 5.97 points to 8,725.04. The FBM Emas Index slipped 0.17 point to 11,300.26 but the FBMT100 Index rose 0.77 point to 11,125.18.
Meanwhile, the FBM70 Index dipped 23.47 points to 12,416.63 but the FBM ACE Index increased 11.94 points to 4,471.95.
In other markets:
* Sydney lost 0.26 per cent, or 11 points, to 4,281.2.
* Taipei fell 0.15 per cent, or 11.51 points, to 7,467.74.
* Manila was flat, edging down 0.01 per cent, or 0.72 points, to 5,266.66.
* Bangkok was flat, edging up 0.01 points to 1,226.83. * Jakarta ended up 0.5 per cent, or 20.43 points, at 4,141.99.
* Jakarta ended up 0.5 per cent, or 20.43 points, at 4,141.99.
*Seoul and Mumbai were closed for public holidays.
VIETNAM: Vietnamese shares continued to close up today with support from blue chips, liquidity, however, fell.
The benchmark VN Index added 1.3 points or 0.3% to 430.77. Volume fell 21.5% to 39.6 million shares worth of VND968.6 billion. Put through trading contribute 8 million shares worth of VND470.5 billion.
We saw 3.69 million VNM shares changed hands in the put through deal at VND112,000 each versus the market close of VND115,000 and 2 million RDP shares changed hands at the floor price ò VND9,100.
The VN30 rose 2.69 points or 0.52%, to 516.05. Amongst its 30 members, 9 gained, 13 lost and 8 unchanged.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX bucked trend, falling 0.17 point or 0.24% to 70.15. Trading volume eased 0.6% to 33.2 million shares worth VND295.1 billion.
HNX30 lost 0.23 point or 0.17% to 133.93.
EUROPE: European shares were slightly lower in thin trade yesterday, consolidating four-month highs.
Tthe pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 per cent at 1,100.29 at 1041 GMT after hitting a four-month closing high of 1,101.97 the previous day. The eurozone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.4 per cent at 2,423.06 points.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.37 per cent to 5,843.34 points approaching midday in London. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slid 0.47 per cent to 6,940.78 points and Paris’ CAC 40 shed 0.34 per cent to 3,438.57.
“European stock indices are following their Asian counterparts lower,” said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley.
AMERICA: Signs that the U.S. economic recovery is advancing, albeit slowly, sent stocks bouncing up and down in narrow ranges for much of the day Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed with a loss of 7.36 points at 13,164.78. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 1.60 points at 1,405.53 and the Nasdaq composite rose 13.95 points to 3,030.93.
U.S. industrial production increased last month as factories made more cars, computers and airplanes, according to the Federal Reserve.
The bond market is betting that the Fed is not likely to act. Investors have been selling low-risk U.S. government bonds, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.81 percent Wednesday. That’s up from 1.73 percent Tuesday and 1.66 percent late Monday.
As investors shuffled their money around, the Russell 2000 index of small stocks gained the most of the major indexes, 0.9 percent. The S&P was up 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq 0.5 percent.
In the last few weeks of the summer, trading volumes in the stock market have been low. On Wednesday, the number of shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange totaled just 2.6 billion, compared to an average of 4 billion on an average day. Investors may also be holding off on taking aggressive positions ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve in Wyoming at the end of this month.
On Wednesday, the Dow traded within a range of just 54 points.
U.S. earnings were mixed.
Target rose $1.12 to $64.50 after the retailer reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations and raised its profit forecast for the year. Target is preparing its first expansion out of the U.S., into Canada.
Deere plummeted $5.03 to $75.10 after the agriculture machinery maker reported results that were well below Wall Street’s expectations. The company attributed its poor results to a slowing global economy and the effects of a prolonged U.S. drought. Deere also cut its revenue forecast for the year.
Staples dropped $1.96 to $11.49 after the office and school supplies store said its income dropped 32 percent following weak sales in North America and Europe. The results fell short of analysts’ expectations and the company cut its full-year earnings forecast.
Abercrombie & Fitch struggled to sell its preppy jeans and T-shirts in the previous quarter, but its results weren’t as bad as analysts had forecast. The teen fashion leader also laid out plans for updating its fashions. The stock soared 9 percent, or $2.90, to $35.23.
Benchmark Currency Rates