Australian shares jump nearly 1%
Asian shares were higher yesterday, following the Dow Jones coming within inches of hitting the 20,000 mark during last Friday's session.
The ASX 200 finished up 0.9 per cent or 51.82 points at 5,8074, seeing broad gains across all sub-indexes except for materials and gold.
Fortescue Metals was down 3.79 per cent at A$5.84 per share while Rio Tinto was off 1.3 per cent at A$59.35, after Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science forecasts iron ore prices at $51.60 a tonne this year and $46.70 in 2018, compared to current spot prices of around $80.
In South Korea, the Kospi wavered between negative and positive territories, and closed down 0.02 per cent at 2,048.78.
Shares of Samsung Electronics were up 2.82 per cent to 1,861,000 won ($1,542) each, after the company said last Friday that its fourth-quarter profit likely jumped 50 per cent year-on-year, beating estimates on strong chip sales and rebound in smartphone sales. The positive outlook comes despite a slight fall in revenue and negative impacts from the cancellation of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 6.
"We believe Samsung Electronics' earnings power should substantially improve in terms of stability and visibility, thanks to diversified earnings stream and much differentiated competitiveness especially in NAND and OLED," said CIMB in a note released last Friday. NAND is a type of flash technology used in memory cards, while OLED is an organic compound used for electronic screen displays.
Across the Korean peninsula, North Korea had announced Sunday that it could test the launch of its intercontinental ballistic missile at any time from any location, Reuters reported.
In response, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said that North Korea›s arms development was a serious threat to the US, and that it was prepared to shoot down a North Korean missile launch or test.
China's Shanghai composite closed up 0.55 per cent or 17.27 points at 3,171.59, while Shenzhen composite ended up 0.303 per cent or 6.02 points at 1,994.15. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 0.12 per cent by mid-afternoon.
Shares of ZTE were down 3.71 per cent at 15.05 yuan per share, after the telecom equipment maker announced it would cut about 3,000 jobs, which is around 10 per cent of total jobs.
Japanese bourses were closed for a holiday.
Last Friday on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average reached a new all-time intraday high, coming within 0.37 points of hitting the elusive 20,000 mark, before closing up 0.32 per cent at 19,963.8. The S&P 500 rose 0.35 per cent at 2,276.9, while the Nasdaq composite closed up 0.6 per cent at 5,521.06, both closing at record highs. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, last traded at 102.37. It had traded at a range of 101.3 to 103.82 last week.
Against the dollar, the yen fetched 117.46 while the Australian dollar stood at $0.7307 compared to levels as low as 0.718 last week.
The Chinese yuan was trading at 6.9333 against the greenback, after the yuan mid-point was set at 6.9262 compared to its last close at 6.933.
Last Saturday, China released its currency reserves for December, which fell by $41.1 billion to $3,010.5 billion. It was the six consecutive monthly decline.
«The reserve drawdown largely reflects capital outflow and the People›s Bank of China›s intervention in the foreign exchange markets. In December the spot dollar/yuan depreciated by 0.9 per cent, although the china Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) currency remained roughly stable,» said economists at Citi, in a note on Monday.
Brent futures slipped during Asian hours, down 0.39 per cent at $56.88 a barrel, while US crude futures dipped 0.46 per cent at $53.74.
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