Asia: Markets mixed on Wall St cues

25-Apr-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 9:22 AM Print This Post

Asian markets were mixed yesterday Thursday April 24 following losses on Wall Street, while Japanese traders were disappointed by the lack of progress on a stalled Pacific trade pact as United States President Barack Obama visits Japan.
Tokyo, which rose more than one per cent Wednesday, dropped 0.97 per cent, or 141.28 points, to 14,404.99 and Seoul lost 0.10 per cent, or 2.03 points, to end at 1,998.34. Sydney closed slightly higher, adding 0.24 per cent, or 13.2 points, to 5,531.
Shanghai fell 0.50 per cent, or 10.35 points, to 2,057.03. Mumbai was closed on account of voting for the general election.
Obama is making the first state visit to Japan by a US president in almost two decades. The trip comes at a time of strained tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a territorial dispute and Japan’s imperialist past.
Investors had also been keen to see some movement on talks between the US and Japan on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has run into difficulties over the countries’ stand on auto and agricultural market access.
However, days of intense talks in the background could not clear the logjam, with powerful vested interests on both sides tying hands.
Obama said yesterday the two sides had still yet to find common ground, adding: “Now is the time for bold steps.”

HONGKONG: SHARES closed 0.24 per cent higher yesterday following two days of losses and despite a sell-off on Wall Street.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended up 53.16 points at 22,562.80 on turnover of HK$50.33 billion.
Cathay Pacific Airways jumped 1.88 per cent to HK$15.14, Internet giant Tencent added 0.66 per cent to HK$532.5 and CCB bank was 0.75 per cent higher at HK$5.38.
However, HSBC eased 0.12 per cent to HK$79.90 and China Mobile was off 0.36 per cent at HK$69.75.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index was up 25.92 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 3283.93.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index rose 1.54 per cent while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.63 per cent.
Among the top actives, SingTel rose 1.62 per cent, DBS jumped 0.60 per cent, UOB added 1.57 per cent, Wilmar gained 0.57 per cent and OCBC Bank was up 0.21 per cent.
Of the outperforming sectors, the FTSE ST Health Care Index surged 2.31 per cent.
Of its two biggest stocks, Raffles Medical Group gained 3.05 per cent and Biosensors International Group climbed 2.09 per cent.

KUALA LUMPUR: LOSSES in banking counters dragged the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) lower yesterday, shedding 2.07 points to close at 1,865.28.
The key index hovered between 1,863.51 and 1,866.32 points throughout the day.
Public Bank shares eased two sen to RM20.26, RHB Capital fell one sen to RM8.50, Maybank dipped four sen to RM9.96 and AMMB declined three to RM7.20.
Of the other heavyweights, TNB was flat at RM11.94 and Axiata gained two sen to RM6.65. Among the actives, PDZ Holdings fell half-a-sen to 16 sen and Xidelang gained two sen to 25.5 sen.
Losers led gainers 485 to 325, while 344 counters were unchanged, 474 untraded and 15 others suspended. Turnover was lower at 2.02 billion shares worth RM1.96 billion.
The Industrial Index lost 12.76 points to 3,170.85, the Finance Index slipped 45 points to 17,094.85, and the Plantation Index rose 28.48 points to 9,002.86.
The FBM Emas Index shed 15.6 points to 12,953.09, the FBMT100 Index was 16.91 points lower at 12,584.6, the FBM 70 Index eased 30.62 points to 14,204.77 and the FBM ACE Index slid 26.45 points to 6,899.77.
Kenanga Research said Bursa’s short-term technical outlook was still sideways with a positive bias.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives also closed mostly lower yesterday.
April 2014 fell one point to 1,861.5 points, May 2014 and June 2014 depreciated 0.5 point each to 1,860 points and 1,858.5 points, respectively, while September 2014 gained one point to 1,851 points.
Turnover rose to 4,314 lots while open interest widened to 38,929 contracts.

In other markets:
* Bangkok lost 0.05 per cent, or 0.72 points, to 1,422.67. Coal producer Banpu added 2.63 per cent to 29.25 baht, while Bangkok Bank fell 3.32 per cent to 189 baht.
* Jakarta closed down 0.04 per cent, or 2.07 points, to 4891.08. Palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari fell 0.34 per cent to 29,000 rupiah, while Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper rose 1.51 per cent to 1,345 rupiah.
* Taipei fell 0.13 per cent, or 11.47 points, to 8,945.45. HTC rose 0.31 per cent to T$159.5 while EVA Air eased 0.64 per cent to T$15.6.
* Wellington rose 0.21 per cent, or 11.04 points, to 5,153.96. TradeMe was up 0.51 per cent at NZ$3.91 and Air New Zealand added 0.72 per cent to NZ$2.095.
* Manila closed 0.56 per cent lower, giving up 38.19 points to 6,731.33. SM Investments dropped 0.67 per cent to 737.50 pesos while Metropolitan Bank and Trust fell 0.71 per cent to 84.35 pesos.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks closed higher today with calmness was seen in late trading, liquidity continued to fall.
The benchmark VN Index gained 1.1 point or 0.19% to 570.46. Volume fell 20% to 56.7 million shares worth of VND1.188 trillion.
Put-through trading contributed 8 million shares worth of VND362.8 billion. We saw 1.5 million HAG shares changed hands and 1.7 million VNG shares changed hands. In the past 3 straight sessions, VNG were traded heavily on put-through and at the ceiling prices.
The market breadth was positive with 112 gainers, 103 losers and 60 unchanged.
The VN30 lost 0.62 point or 0.1% to 629.16. Among 30 constituents 12 gained, 9 fell and 9 stood still.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX added 0.1 point or 0.12% to 80 Trading volume fell to 33.8 million shares worth VND361 billion.
The breadth was negative with 96 gainers, 107 losers, 56 unchanged and the rest untraded.
The HNX30 rose 0.04 point or 0.03% to 160.98.

EUROPE: European stock markets rebounded yesterday as traders reacted to a string of earnings updates, data pointing to further easing of eurozone economic strains, and fresh takeover speculation.
London’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.60 per cent to stand at 6,714.78 points in afternoon deals.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 climbed 0.07 per cent to 9,551.28, with data revealing that German business confidence rebounded this month, after a slight fall in March in Europe’s biggest economy when companies worried about the Crimea crisis.
The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.73 per cent to 4,483.46 .
Madrid’s IBEX 35 gained 0.45 per cent to 10,471.2 points after Spain’s central bank said the country’s economy grew at the fastest pace for six years in the first quarter of 2014.

AMERICA: The stock market closed mostly higher Thursday, helped by positive earnings out of several large U.S. companies including Apple and construction equipment maker Caterpillar.
The markets gains were modest, however, as investors turned their eyes back to Russia and Ukraine, where geopolitical tensions were heating up once again. Some earnings reports, such as 3M and Facebook, also failed to impress investors.

It was the seventh time in the last eight days that the S&P 500 has closed higher. Despite the recent upward momentum, traders remain nervous.

“Everyone is a little apprehensive as we move higher, waiting for the next shoe to drop that’s going to make the market head lower,” said Jonathan Corpina, a floor trader at the New York Stock Exchange with Meridian Equity Partners. “The market isn’t in a healthy mentality at the moment.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,878.61 and the Nasdaq composite rose 21.37 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,148.34.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,501.65, unchanged on the day. The last time the Dow closed flat was Dec. 24, 2001.

Apple was among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 and helped push the Nasdaq composite up more than the rest of the broader market.

Apple rose $43.02, or 8 percent, to $567.77 after the California-based company reported a profit of $11.62 a share, beating forecasts. Apple also announced it would increase its share buyback program from $60 billion to $90 billion, raise its quarterly dividend, and split its stock seven-for-one.

Dow member Caterpillar rose $1.90, or 2 percent, to $105.28. The construction equipment manufacturer said its quarterly earnings rose 5 percent from a year ago. Caterpillar also raised is 2014 profit forecast. The company earned an adjusted profit of $1.61 a share, well ahead of the $1.21 per share expected by analysts.

Another Dow member, 3M, wasn’t as fortunate in the first quarter as Caterpillar was.

The maker of industrial coatings and Post-it notes fell $1.34, or 1 percent, to $136.65 after the company’s results missed analysts’ expectations. The Minnesota-based conglomerate earned $1.79 a share, a penny shy of forecasts. Revenue also came in short of expectations.

Despite the mostly positive news from U.S. companies, overseas worries put a damper on the market.

Russian officials said they would hold new military exercises along the Ukrainian border, hours after Ukrainian troops killed at least two pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Ukrainian attack as a “punitive operation” and threatened Kiev with unspecified consequences. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been relatively quiet for the last couple of weeks, so the recent increase in tensions has made some investors nervous.

Tom di Galoma, who runs fixed-income trading for ED&F Man Capital, said the Ukraine-Russia conflict was sending some investors into safer assets, such as U.S. Treasurys and gold.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 2.68 percent as bond prices rose. Gold rose $6, or 0.5 percent, to $1.290.60 an ounce.

“One day we think there’s a resolution, and the next the situation out of Ukraine and Russia turns a little alarming,” Corpina said.

Investors were also working through another batch of economic reports. Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.6 percent, adding to the 2.1 percent rise in February. The back-to-back gains followed two big declines in December and January, which had raised concerns about possible weakness in manufacturing, The earlier declines, however, were likely tied to bad winter weather.

On the jobs front, the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 last week, though the gain likely reflected temporary layoffs in the week before Easter.

In other company news:

- Facebook fell 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $60.87, despite reporting profit and sales that handedly beat forecasts. The social media giant earned an adjusted profit of 34 cents a share compared to analysts’ estimates of 24 cents a share.

- Microsoft rose 99 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $40.90 in afterhours trading, after reporting a profit that beat analysts’ expectations. The software giant earned 68 cents a share, compared with the 63 cents analysts were looking for.

- Amazon rose $9.04, or 2.7 percent, to $346.00 in aftermarket hours. The online retail giant posted a profit of 23 cents a share, two cents better than analysts’ expectations.

-  Zimmer Holdings soared $10.52, or 12 percent, to $101.97 after announcing it would buy the privately held orthopedic device company Biomet for $13.35 billion in cash and stock. Biomet was taken private in 2007 by a group of private equity companies, and was looking to go public later this year.

Benchmark Currency Rates


1.3833 0.0098 1.6805 1.1340 0.9070 0.9265 0.1290


0.7229 0.0071 1.2149 0.8198 0.6555 0.6698 0.0932


102.4300 141.6800 172.1240 116.1530 92.8780 94.8960 13.2122


0.5951 0.8231 0.0058 0.6748 0.5396 0.5514 0.0767


0.8819 1.2199 0.0086 1.4820 0.7996 0.8171 0.1137


1.1028 1.5255 0.0108 1.8533 1.2505 1.0219 0.1422


1.0793 1.4930 0.0105 1.8136 1.2238 0.9787 0.1392


7.7534 10.7253 0.0757 13.0297 8.7920 7.0307 7.1842


Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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