RTTNews - The stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region are trading mixed on Monday following the mixed cues from Wall Street Friday and as investors preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of the release of key Japanese and U.S. economic data later in the week. Data on the slate for the week include the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey of business sentiment, and monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls.
U.S. stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note. A report from the Commerce Department showed that personal spending, incomes and savings all rose in May. However, with the savings rate touching a 15-year high, investors were concerned that demand in the world's largest economy will remain weak.
In Asian trades Monday, crude oil is trading at US$68.60, down US$0.56 or 0.81%. Crude oil fell on Friday amid demand concerns and lost the US$70 a barrel mark again. Light sweet crude oil for August delivery closed at US$69.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down US$1.07 for the session.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading weaker against the Japanese yen and the Australian dollar, while it is trading stronger against the South Korean won. In Tokyo, the U.S. dollar is trading in a range of 95.29-95.32 yen, down 0.63 yen from Friday's close of 95.92-95.94 yen. In Sydney, the Australian dollar is trading at US$0.8073-US$0.8079, up from Friday's close of US$0.8043-US$0.8046. In Seoul, the South Korean won is trading at 1,286.45 won to the U.S. dollar, down 2.15 won from Friday's close.
The Japanese stock market is trading slightly higher on Monday after opening flat. Gains are limited as weaker-than-expected Japanese industrial production in May and a stronger yen weighed on the market. Investors also preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of key domestic and overseas economic data due later this week.
In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 28.66 points or 0.29% to 9906.05 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues is adding 0.78 points or 0.08% to 927.58.
Increasing optimism about a global recovery helped the Japanese market to extend its gains on Friday, with the Nikkei 225 Index closing at 9,877, up 81.31 points or 0.83%. The Topix Index ended at 927, up 7.03 points or 0.76%.
On the economic front, industrial output in Japan jumped 5.9% in May compared to the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report on Monday. That was lower than analyst expectations for a 6.9% increase following the 5.9% gain in April.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also said that retail sales in Japan eased 2.8% on year in May, falling for the ninth consecutive month. That compares to forecasts for a 2.6% annual decline following the 2.8% contraction in April.
On a monthly basis, retail sales were flat, in line with forecasts after the 0.6% increase in the previous month.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ is down 0.33%, Resona Holdings is losing 0.07% and Mizuho Financial is declining 0.84%, while shares of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are up 0.50%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings is losing 1.32%. Shares of Daiwa Securities are down more than 12% after the company announced a $2.5 billion share sale, its first public offering in twenty years.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining 0.65%, Kyocera is up 0.54% and Tokyo Electron is advancing 1.75%. Shares of Elpida Memory rose more than 7% after the Nikkei business daily reported that the financial aid to the chipmaker over the next three years is likely to reach 200 billion yen. Among export-oriented stocks, Canon is losing 0.62% and Komatsu is down 1.05%, while Sharp is up 0.30%.
Automakers are trading mixed. Honda is gaining 0.38% and Mazda is up 1.61%, while Toyota is losing 1.09% and Nissan is down 0.50%.
In the oil sector, Inpex is down 1.33%, Nippon Oil is losing 2.11% and Showa Shell is declining 1.26%. Among trading houses, Mitsubishi Corp is down 1.49%, Mitsui & Co. is losing 1.20% and Itochu is declining 1.35%.
Shares of Takeda Pharmaceuticals are down more than 2% after the company said its key diabetes drug alogliptin failed to win approval from U.S. regulators The company added that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked it to conduct an additional safety study on the new drug, which will delay its launch by at least two years.
The Australian stock market is trading in negative territory on Monday following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday. Resource stocks declined on lower base metal and oil prices. Banking stocks are also trading weak.
In early morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 18.50 points or 0.47% to 3,885.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index is down 15.70 points or 0.40% to 3,883.80.
On Friday,the Australian stock market closed higher, with the financial sector showing strength. The S&P/ASX200 index gained 47.8 points or 1.24% to 3903.8, while the All Ordinaries index rose 48 points or 1.25% to 3899.5.
The markets have little to digest in terms of economic news on Monday.
In the mining space, BHP Billiton is down 0.82% and rival Rio Tinto is losing 1.37%. Gold miners are trading mixed despite higher gold prices. Newcrest Mining is down 0.10% and Lihir Gold is down 1%, while Newmont Mining is up 1.52%.
Among the major banks, Australia and NZ Banking Group is down 0.37%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is losing 0.65% and National Australia Bank is declining 0.67%. Westpac is unchanged.
In the oil sector, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.02% and Santos is up 0.21%, while Oil Search is losing 0.18%.
Wesfarmers' supermarket arm, Coles, said it will sell 45 of its supermarkets and eight Liquorland stores to independent group FoodWorks for approximately A$35 million, as part of its plan to improve its network. Shares of Wesfarmers are up almost 3%.
Toll Group said it has entered into an A$180 million three-year agreement with Chevron Australia to manage logistical services on the Gorgon gas project on Barrow Island off Western Australia. However, the company's shares are down 0.47%.
The South Korean stock market is trading higher on Monday for the fourth straight session, as investors garnered tech stocks as well as shares of construction companies. However, gains are limited as investors preferred to remain cautious ahead of the corporate earnings reports for the second quarter.
In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or KOSPI, is gaining 9.83 points or 0.70% to 1404.36.
The South Korean market closed barely higher on Friday, led by gains among the technology stocks amid increasing hopes of recovery. The KOSPI closed with a gain of 1.80 points, or 0.13% at 1,395.
The markets have little to digest in terms of economic news on Monday.
Conglomerate Kumho Asiana Group, the parent company of builder Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., said it will sell the builder, in an apparent effort to avert a worsening liquidity problem. Shares of Daewoo Engineering are up more than 12%, while those of Kumho Asiana are gaining more than 9%.
In the tech space, market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is advancing 1.34%, Hynix Semiconductor is up 0.36%, LG Display LCD is gaining 2.81% and LG Electronics is adding 0.42%.
Automakers and steel stocks are trading mixed. Among automakers, Hyundai Motor is advancing 1.34% and Kia Motors is gaining 2.5%, while Ssangyong Motor is down 10.86%. Steel maker Hyundai Steel is losing 0.68% and Posco is gaining 1.07%.
Oil issue SK Holdings is advancing 1.42% and energy stock Kepco is gaining 1.86%, while Oil scrip S-Oil is down more than 3%.
In the banking sector, Shinhan Financial is advancing 1.11% and KB Financial, the holding firm of Kookmin Bank, is up 0.47%. Meanwhile, Woori Finance is losing 0.97% and Korea Exchange Bank is unchanged. Telecom issue SK Telecom is down 0.26% and KT Corp. is adding 0.14%.
Other Asian markets:
New Zealand's NZX 50 Index is losing 0.14 points or 0.01% to 2,770, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is losing 80 points or 0.43% to 18,521, Singapore's Straits Times Index is down 4 points or 0.15% to 2314, Taiwan's Weighted Index is declining 14 points or 0.22% to 6,449 and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index is down 6 points or 0.29% to 2034.
China's Shanghai Composite Index is gaining 13 points or 0.45% to 2,941 and Malaysia's KLSE Composite is up 0.32 points to 1,076.
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