RTTNews - The markets across the Asia-pacific region ended in negative territory on Monday, amid weak global cues awaiting direction, as the recent rally on optimism about recovery seems to be losing steam.
In the U.S, the major indices ended Friday's session mixed on either side of the unchanged line characterized by low volumes as traders shrugged off mixed economic data amid increasing concerns about recovery.
On the economic front, traders digested a report from the Commerce Department which showed that personal income jumped 1.4% in May following an upwardly revised 0.7% rise in April. Excluding the effects of the stimulus bill, disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, increased by a much more modest 0.2% in May, the report revealed. The report also indicated that that personal spending rose 0.3% in May, in line with economists' estimates, after coming in unchanged in the previous month.
Separately, a report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the consumer sentiment index was revised up to 70.8 in June from the preliminary reading of 69.0, coming in above the May reading of 68.7. Economists had been expecting the index to be unrevised at 69.0.
While the Nasdaq closed up by 8.68 points or 0.5% at 1,838, the Dow slipped by 34.01 points or 0.4% to 8,438 and the S&P 500 fell 1.36 or 0.2% to 919.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened slightly lower at 9,866 compared to its previous close of 9,877, but it moved above the unchanged line on positive industrial production report. However, negative sentiment generated by announcements regarding stock sales dragged the indices below the unchanged line. The average ended weaker at 9,783, representing a loss of 93.92 points or 0.95%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues declined 11.78 points, or 1.2% to close at 915.
Light sweet crude August delivery ended at $68.76, down 40 cents, in the Asian session after losing $1.07 and settling at $69.16 per barrel in New York on Friday on demand concerns.
On the economic front, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed that industrial output in the country jumped 5.9% in May compared to the previous month. Separately, the Ministry revealed that retail sales eased 2.9% year-on-year during May following a 2.8% decline in the previous month.
Mizuho Financial, the second largest bank in the country, led the declines following reports that the bank is planning to raise 600 billion yen through the sale of new shares. The stock declined 4.18%. Among others in the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial lost 2.78%, Resona Holdings fell 1.95% and Sumitomo Mitsui lost 2.00%.
Daiwa Securities declined more than 11% following the news that the company would raise funds in a public offering. Nomura Holdings fell 4.21%.
Oil stocks ended weaker on lower crude oil prices. Inpex Corp. declined 2.52%, Nippon Oil Corp fell 2.63% and Showa Shell lost 1.93%.
Shipping stocks declined after the Baltic Dry Index declined sharply last week. Mitsui O.S.K Lines fell 3.13%, Kawasaki Kisen lost 3.14% and Nippon Yusen declined 2.83%.
In Australia, the All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 3,899. Weak clues from Wall Street and other Asian markets impacted market sentiment as traders preferred to stay away from the market as the financial year draws to a close. The index traded in a narrow range around the unchanged line amid volatility and ended the session with a loss of 16.80 points, or 0.43%, at 3,883. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended lower at 3,887, representing a loss of 16.90 points, or 0.43%.
Metal stocks declined on softer prices in the international market. BHP Billiton shed 0.82%, Rio Tinto fell 1.43%, and Fortescue Metals lost 1.59%. Oz Minerals remained unchanged from its previous close. However, Macarthur Coal bucked the trend and ended 6.08% higher following higher coal prices.
Gold stocks slipped into red on lower bullion prices. Lihir Gold shed 1.01%, Newcrest Mining edged down 0.27% and Sino Gold fell 2.44%.
Oil stocks ended weaker following a drop in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum fell 0.82%, Santos edged down 0.21% and Oil Search fell 2.39%.
Financial stocks ended mixed amid concerns about a recovery. ANZ Bank declined 1.16% and Westpac Banking Corp. lost 1.10%. However, Commonwealth Bank Australia added 0.67% and National Australia Bank edged up 0.31%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index opened slightly lower at at 18,561 compared to its previous close at 18,600 amid weak global cues. Weak commodity prices and concerns about global recovery kept trading in a narrow range amid volatile trading and the market finally ended in negative territory with a loss of 71.75 points, or 0.39%, at 18,529.
Resource related stocks ended in negative territory on soft commodity prices. Aluminum Corp. of China, or CHALCO, fell 2.70%. PetroChina shed 0.58% and CNOOC, the largest offshore oil company in China, lost 2.32%. Oil refiner Sinopec Corp, however managed to edge up 0.35%.
Mixed trend was witnessed among the property stocks. While Hang Lung Property gained 1.32% and Wharf Holdings advanced 1.89%, New World Development fell 2.70%, SHK Property slipped 0.65% and Sino Land lost 1.64%.
Conglomerate CITIC Pacific gained more than 6.5% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the outlook for the company and placed the stock in the conviction buy list.
Mixed closing was witnessed among the financials. While Bank of China added 0.55%, and Hang Seng Bank edged up 0.36%, Bank of Communications edged down 0.24%, ICBC lost 1.47%, and China Commercial Bank slipped 0.17%.
In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index ended in negative territory in lackluster trading amid concerns about global recovery. The market opened higher at 1,400 compared to previous close at 1,395 and managed to trade in positive territory in morning session on bargain hunting. However, concerns weak cues from Asian markets and increasing concerns about global recovery dragged the index below the unchanged line to close at 1,388 with a loss of 6.08 points, or 0.44%.
Ssangyong Motor, the smallest auto firm, led the losses, plunging more than 15% as its unionists vowed to fight to protect the jobs of fellow workers, after violent clashes broke out with management.
Shipping stocks ended weaker. Hyundai Heavy Engineering declined 1.01% and Samsung Heavy Industries lost 1.57%.
In India, the stock market managed to end in the positive territory, as profit taking in late trading amid valuation concerns and the delayed monsoon trimmed early gains.
The BSE Sensex finished at 14,786, up 21 points or 0.14% from its previous close, and the broader Nifty Index rose 15 points or 0.35% to close at 4,391.
Among other major markets in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index managed to end in positive territory with a gain of 47.10 points, or 1.61% to close at 2,975. All the other indices ended in negative territory. Taiwan's Weighted Index lost 72.41 points, or 1.12% to close at 6,391, the Strait Times Index in Singapore edged down 0.78 points or 0.03% to close at 2,317, and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index slipped 6.48 points, or 0.32% to close at 2,034.
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