Asia: Mostly down as investors await data

31-May-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 7:05 AM Print This Post

Asian markets mostly fell yesterday Friday May 30, with Tokyo hit by a stronger yen and data that showed household spending tumbling after a sales tax hike, while investors await the release of key manufacturing data next week.
Tokyo fell 0.34 per cent, or 49.34 points, to finish at 14,632.38, while Seoul slipped 0.86 per cent, or 17.30 points, to 1,994.96. Sydney also closed down, losing 0.49 per cent, or 27 points, to end at 5,492.5.
In the meantime, Shanghai closed flat, edging down 1.39 points to 2,039.21.
Japanese household spending in April fell 13.3 per cent from March, official data showed, marking the biggest monthly drop since March 2011 when the country was hit by a quake-tsunami disaster.
Also, the government said inflation accelerated to 3.2 per cent year on year in April from 1.3 per cent in March, largely owing to the effects of the tax rise.
In New York, the S&P 500 added 0.54 per cent to close at another record high, while the Dow rose 0.39 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.54 per cent.
Focus is now on the release next week of HSBC’s closely watched purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity from China, the US and Europe, hoping for signs of further improvement. China is also due to unveil its own PMI tomorrow.

HONGKONG: SHARES rose 0.31 per cent yesterday, bucking a regional trend, following another record close on Wall Street.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 71.51 points to 23,081.65 on turnover of HK$75.40 billion.
Property firms were lifted as falling US Treasury yields hit an 11-month low, putting downward pressure on interest rates. Hong Kong rates are linked to those in the United States.
Henderson Land Development rose 0.40 per cent to HK$50.50, HSBC was up 0.18 per cent at HK$81.75 and Bank of China added 1.93 per cent to HK$3.69.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended 4.86 points, or 0.15 per cent, lower to 3,295.85 yesterday.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.69 per cent and the FTSE ST Small Cap Index lost 0.10 per cent.
Of the actives, UOB grew 0.09 per cent, YZJ Shipbuilding fell 10.62 per cent, DBS lost 0.47 per cent, SingTel added 0.26 per cent, and OCBC Bank appreciated 0.83 per cent.
The outperforming sector, FTSE ST Technology, advanced by 0.41 per cent.
Of its biggest stocks, Silverlake Axis gained three per cent and STATS ChipPAC was unchanged.

KUALA LUMPUR: SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia ended lower yesterday on late selling, dragged down by losses in selected heavyweights.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) fell 3.24 points to close at 1,873.38 points.
Among the actives, Main Market debutant 7-Eleven closed 15 sen higher at RM1.53 and Public Bank soared 98 sen to RM21.60.
Of the top losers, Hong Leong Financial fell 40 sen to RM15.40 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong declined 32 sen to RM23.92.
Losers edged gainers by 442 to 370, with 310 counters unchanged, 498 untraded and 35 others suspended. Volume increased to 1.91 billion shares worth RM6.01 billion.
Hong Leong Investment Bank said the FBM KLCI was poised to gain further traction in the immediate term to retest the all-time high of 1,890 points and 1,900-point psychological barrier.
The Finance Index surged 94.68 points to 17,382.62 and the Industrial Index added 18.21 points to 3,190.22. The Plantation Index fell 71.61 points to 9,074.46 points.
The FBM Emas Index was down 23.24 points to 12,945.75 points, the FBMT100 Index lost 23.06 points to 12,595.27 points, the FBM 70 decreased 30.72 points to 14,045.23 points and the FBM ACE Index shed 71.68 points to 6,581.33 points.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed lower yesterday.
May 2014 was down four points to 1,875.5 points, June 2014 and September 2014 lost 1.5 points to 1,877 points and 1,873.5 points, respectively, and December 2014 dipped 2.5 points to 1,872 points.
Turnover fell to 11,654 lots, while open interest dwindled to 42,444 contracts.

In other markets:
* Mumbai fell 0.07 per cent to 24,217.34 points. Jammu & Kashmir Bank lost 18.42 per cent to 1501.35 rupees, while Power Finance slid 5.19 per cent to 292.30 rupees.
* Bangkok added 0.51 per cent to 1,415.73. Airports of Thailand gained 2.18 per cent to 187.50 baht, while Thai Airways International rose 3.47 per cent to 14.90 baht.
* Jakarta fell 1.84 per cent to 4,893.91. Bank Permata lost 0.37 per cent at 1,335 rupiah, while Gudang Garam gained 0.05 per cent at 52,050 rupiah.
* Taipei fell 0.36 per cent to 9,075.91. Smartphone maker HTC shed 2.14 per cent to T$160 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 2.05 per cent lower at T$119.50.
* Wellington was flat, edging down 4.73 points to 5,178.44. Fletcher Building was off 2.08 per cent at NZ$8.95 and Contact Energy was down 0.18 per cent at NZ$5.45.
* Manila closed 0.43 per cent lower at 6,647.65. Megaworld gained 3.75 per cent to 4.70 pesos while Aboitiz Power dropped 2.70 per cent to 36 pesos.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks closed with a mixed note today as traders took profit, liquidity fell on caution.
The benchmark VN Index gained 3.57 points or 0.64% to 562.02. Volume fell 28% to 83.4 million shares worth of VND1.413 trillion.
Put-through trading contributed 2 million shares worth of VND89.07 billion.
The market breadth was negative with 91 gainers, 128 losers and 56 unchanged.
The VN30 gained 2.99 points or 0.49% to 618. Among 30 constituents 16 gained, 10 fell and 4 stood still.
Stocks on the Hanoi Stock Exchange bucked trend to close lower on Friday on profit taking efforts.
The HNX-Index, the measure of 377 stocks, dropped 0.58 points, or 0.77%, to end at 75.8, trading volumefell 23% to 50.6 million shares worth VND479 billion.
The market breadth was negative as 91 stocks rose, 116 tumbled, 53 closed unmoved, the rest were untraded.
The HNX 30 Index – the tracker of top 30 stocks calculated based on free float adjusted market capitalization – dipped 1.49 points, or 0.97%, to end at 152.13.

EUROPE: European stock markets were mixed yesterday, with many traders away for a long holiday weekend and the mining sector hit by concern about Chinese demand, dealers said.
London’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.07 per cent to stand at 6,866.56 points in late morning trade, as investors shrugged off positive news on the British economy.
Paris’ CAC 40 depreciated by 0.25 per cent to 4,519.41 points, but Frankfurt’s DAX 30 appreciated 0.24 per cent to 9,962.83 from Thursday’s finish despite sliding German retail sales.
“Trading volume remained subdued yesterday with many traders in countries where markets were closed yesterday having opted to take off and to enjoy an extended weekend,” said analyst Markus Huber at broker Peregrine & Black.
“European shares are trading little changed as a strong close in the United States last night has been somewhat neutralised by mixed markets across Asia.”

AMERICA: The stock market closed out May mostly higher Friday, sending two out of the three major U.S. indexes to record highs.

Trading was uneven, and indexes moved between small gains and losses for most of the day. A late push higher left the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 at all-time highs, but just barely.

May was the best month for investors since February. The S&P rose 2.1 percent for the month, while the Dow rose 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq rose 3.1 percent.

“This market may have been choppy earlier in the year, but the trend is higher,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, a market strategist with Voya Investment Management, formerly known as ING Investment Management.

The Dow rose 18.43 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 16,717.17, less than two points above its previous record high set on May 13.

The S&P 500 index rose 3.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,923.57, also closing at a record. The only index to fall was the Nasdaq composite, which ended down 5.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,242.62.

On Friday, investors had two somewhat disappointing reports on the U.S. consumer.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in April, the first drop in that indicator in a year. Economists expect the drop to be temporary, however. Consumer spending jumped 1 percent in March.

“It is obvious that after an unseasonably colder January and February, consumers came out with a vengeance in March,” Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight, wrote in a note to clients. “So, April’s poor showing on the spending front is payback for a strong March.”

In a separate report, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell more than analysts were expecting. The index slipped to 81.9 in May from 84.9 in April. Economists had expected 82.8.

Key economic data comes out next week, including the May jobs report on Friday. Economists expect the U.S. economy created 220,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, according to FactSet, a financial information provider. The European Central Bank will also have its interest rate policy meeting that day.

Among stocks, Lions Gate Entertainment was one of the biggest decliners Friday. The movie studio slid $3.40, or 12 percent, to $26.13 after reporting a profit of 35 cents per share, a 70 percent drop from the year before and well below what analysts had expected. Lions Gate’s movies include the “The Hunger Games” series.

Sunglasses retailer Pacific Sunwear dropped 52 cents, or 18 percent, to $2.42. The company warned investors that it would report a two-cent loss this quarter, not the two-cent profit that analysts had expected.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 2.47 percent. Bond yields are the near their lows for the year thanks to strong demand from foreign and U.S. buyers.

“If we were in a normal bond market, these yields would signal weakness in the U.S. economy,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. “But I think what’s going on is more of a temporary phenomenon.”

Roughly 3.2 billion shares traded hands on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, slightly below the 50-day average. Volume has been relatively light this week, which was shortened by the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. on Monday.

Benchmark Currency Rates



1.3635 0.0098 1.6755 1.1169 0.9221 0.9310 0.1290


0.7335 0.0072 1.2289 0.8194 0.6762 0.6829 0.0946


101.7700 138.7400 170.5090 113.6810 93.8280 94.7510 13.1255


0.5967 0.8137 0.0059 0.6667 0.5501 0.5558 0.0770


0.8952 1.2206 0.0088 1.5000 0.8254 0.8337 0.1155


1.0846 1.4788 0.0107 1.8173 1.2111 1.0098 0.1399


1.0741 1.4644 0.0106 1.7998 1.1995 0.9901 0.1385


7.7529 10.5702 0.0762 12.9907 8.6622 7.1478 7.2173

Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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