RTTNews - The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended mixed on Monday, taking cues from Wall Street, where the major indices ended lower on Friday on concerns about the economic outlook. While the markets in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan ended lower, the markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan ended in positive territory. The markets in India soared more than 17%, forcing regulators to stop trading for the day as markets cheered the return to power of the ruling Congress party with a clear mandate.
In the U.S., the Labor Department on Friday said its consumer price index was unchanged in April after edging down by 0.1% in March. The lack of growth in consumer prices came in line with the expectations of economists. The report also showed that the core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.3% in April after rising 0.2% in each of the three previous months. Economists had expected core prices to edge up 0.1%.
A report from the Federal Reserve showed a slightly smaller than expected 0.5% decrease in industrial production in April, while the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index rose to 67.9 in May from 65.1 in the previous month.
The Dow closed down 62.68 points or 0.8% at 8,269, the Nasdaq closed down 9.07 points or 0.5% at 1,680 and the S&P 500 closed down 10.19 points or 1.1% at 883.
In Asian trading, crude oil ended higher by $0.60 at $56.94 a barrel in electronic trading. On Friday, Light sweet crude for May delivery ended at $56.34 a barrel on Friday.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index declined 2.40% or 226.30 points to close at 9,039 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues lost 21.94 points or 2.50% to 860.
On the economic front, a report from the Cabinet Office showed that Japanese consumer confidence rose to 33.2 in April from 29.6 in the previous month. Economists had expected the index to rise to 31.
Exporters declined amid concerns about the European economy, which shrank at a faster pace, and the local currency strengthening against the U.S dollar. Canon dropped 4.83%, Sony lost 5.84% and Sharp fell 4.65%. Panasonic declined more than 7.50% after the company forecast a loss for the second straight quarter.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank, declined 3.43%, Mizuho Financial fell 3.80%, Sumitomo Mitsui lost 4.08% and Resona Holdings slipped 3.45%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings lost 5.01%.
Among automakers, Toyota Motor lost 0.84%, Honda Motor slipped 0.73%, and Isuzu Motors declined 4.73%
In the oil sector, Inpex eased 3.87%, Nippon Oil slipped 0.54% and Showa Shell fell 1.59%. Among trading houses, Mitsubishi Corp. ended down 3.36%, Itochu slipped 2.53%, and Sumitomo Corp. declined 2.22%.
In Sydney, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 37.60 points, or 1.00% to 3,736, and the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 37.30 points, or 1.00% to close at 3,722.
Mining-related stocks led the declines on lower commodity prices. Index leader BHP Billiton lost 1.32% and its rival, Rio Tinto shed 1.18%.
Retail stocks ended weaker. David Jones shed 3.51%, Wesfarmers lost 3.53%, Woolworths slipped 0.15%, and Harvey Norman declined 3.93%.
Mixed trading was witnessed among the banking stocks. While ANZ Bank gained 0.20%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia edged down 0.89% and Macquarie Group lost 3.09%. Westpac Banking declined 4.55% after the stock went ex-dividend. National Australia Bank remained unchanged from previous close.
Energy stocks also showed mixed sentiment. Woodside lost 1.56% and Oil Search declined 1.37%, but Santos edged up 0.50%
Gold related stocks ended higher following a rise in gold prices in Sydney. Lihir Gold advanced 1.34%, Sino Gold gained 2.92% and Newcrest Mining gained 1.02%.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index recovered its early losses and ended in positive territory, with a gain of 1.38% or 232.21 points at 17,023.
Property stocks, china-related stocks and financials led the gains in the market.
Among the property stocks, New World Development surged up 6.87%, Henderson Land gained 3.49%, Wharf Holdings advanced 6.24%, SHK Properties added 1.59% and Sino Land rose 4.05%
China Unicom advanced 2.57%, China Mobile edged up 0.14%, China Resources gained 1.89%, and China Shinhua added 3.23%.
Among the financials, Bank of China rose 1.39%, Bank of Communications advanced 1.92% and BOC Hong Kong added 0.73%. HSBC Holdings remained unchanged from previous close while Hang Seng Bank gained 1.87%
The benchmark KOSPI Index in South Korea lost 0.36% or 5.05 points to close at 1,387.
Financials ended mixed. KB Financial Group added 1.58% and Woori Finance gained 4.95%, but Shinhan Financial declined 1.72%
In the auto space, Hyundai Motor gained 1.10% and Kia Motor advanced 4.80%. Ssangyong Motor however remained unchanged from previous close.
Technology stocks ended mixed. While Hynix Semiconductor gained 0.75%, LG Display fell 1.70%, and LG Electronics declined 1.36%. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics recovered its early loss and ended higher by 0.18%.
Among the other major markets, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 7.52 points, or 0.28% to 2,653, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index advanced 3.01% or 52.65 points to 1,804, Singapore's Strait Times Index added 33.14 points, or 1.55% to 2,173, and Taiwan's Weighted Index advanced 88.72 points, or 1.37% to 6,578.
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