Asia markets tread water Investors scrutinize China’s Party Congress
Stocks in Asia closed narrowly mixed on Wednesday as investors in the region looked to China's Party Congress for signs on future policy direction in the world's second-largest economy.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed higher for a 12th straight session after tacking on 0.13 per cent, or 26.93 points, to finish the session at 21,363.05. Major exporters were mixed: Mitsubishi Motor closed down 1.32 per cent, Nissan rose 0.09 per cent and SoftBank Group declined 0.51 per cent.
Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi reversed early gains and slid 0.06 per cent to close at 2,482.91 as gains made by automakers were offset by falls in blue-chip tech names.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.02 per cent to end at 5,890.5, with the utilities sub-index leading gains and rising 1.21 per cent. Telecommunications stocks traded lower on the day.
Greater China markets were stable as the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China commenced in Beijing. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 0.04 per cent by 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite advanced 0.28 per cent to close at 3,381.3691 and the Shenzhen Composite lost 0.396 per cent to end at 2,000.1097.
Singapore and Malaysia markets are closed for a public holiday.
Markets kept an eye on developments in China as the country's 19th Party Congress began. Although past iterations of the meeting have proven opaque, investors attempted to look for signs on how Beijing might tackle issues such as its debt problem and industrial over-capacity.
During his nearly 3.5-hour address at the event on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping highlighted achievements made by China in recent years, but acknowledged challenges that remained ahead. Xi also pledged there would be greater market access in the services sector and more extensive economic reforms.
The yuan was little changed on the day, with the onshore yuan trading at 6.6211 to the greenback at 3:09 p.m. HK/SIN. The offshore yuantraded at 6.6183 per dollar. The People's Bank of China had fixed the yuan midpoint a touch softer than the previous session at 6.5991 per dollar.
Ahead, key data from the world's second-largest economy, including September industrial production and third-quarter GDP numbers, are due on Oct. 19.
Meanwhile, the US currency extended gains after rising to its highest levels in a week overnight as markets speculated over President Donald Trump's choice of a candidate to succeed Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair.
Stanford University economist John Taylor, regarded by market watchers as more hawkish than Yellen, is currently seen as a front-runner, according to media reports. Trump is expected to make his decision early in November.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, stood at 93.570 at 3:07 p.m. HK/SIN after touching as high as 93.729 overnight. Against the yen, the greenback was a touch firmer at 112.43, above the 112.18 level seen Tuesday.
Elsewhere, the Bank of England was in the spotlight after U.K. inflation rose 3 per cent in September, its fastest pace since 2012. Investors are watching the central bank's next meeting in November after BoE Governor Mark Carney indicated last month that interest rates could increase in coming months.
On Wall Street, US stocks broadly rose on strong earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average touched the 23,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday before closing up 0.18 per cent, or 40.48 points, on the day at 22,997.44.
In corporate news, Rio Tinto was charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters reported. The mining company had allegedly inflated the price of assets in Mozambique, Reuters said. Rio Tinto said in a statement that it would "vigorously defend itself" against the "unwarranted" case brought by the SEC. Shares of the miner traded in Australia closed down 0.76 per cent.
Meanwhile, ANZ Bank New Zealand said John Key, the former prime minister of New Zealand, would be the new chair of its board of directors after current Chair John Judge retires in January 2018. ANZ shares finished the session just 0.03 per cent over the flat line.
On the energy front, oil prices strengthened after a choppy session on Tuesday. Investor worries over supply due to geopolitical tensions in Iraq and a drop in US crude stockpiles overnight kept prices elevated. Brent crude futures added 0.67 per cent to trade at $58.27 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.42 per cent to trade at $52.10.(CNBC)
- Maldives:President Yameen’s relationship with India and the US
- (UN)TRAFFICKED: A platform to combat trafficking in India
- IDPs and Military occupation of Northern land Why correlation between caste and land is ignored
- Three die as car rams into train
- KG discovery in Point Pedro sea 150kg in 60 bags - Navy
- Symposium on alcohol menace
- Tax concessions on used electric cars Extend period to three years – VIASL
- Refusal to hoist National Flag Cooray to seek AG’s opinion
- Gintota mayhem Police to crackdown on rumour mongers
- Lanka Marine Services scandal Vasu flays Govt for delay in probe
- Dedicated Courts to hear sleaze cases Start with Bond issue says JVP
- O/L exam to commence on 12 December
- Ajith P. Perera writes to PCoI Denies conversing with Aloysius
- In the wake of violence Gintota divided into 3 for security – Police Preventable if Police acted sooner -IGP
- Fuel Crisis Hoax CPC goes to the CID
- Only 10 detained under PTA Govt Suspects held on serious terror charges
- Speaker agrees to summon Party Leaders’ meeting Kiriella claims breach of Parliamentary privileges occurred Blames CID and AG’s Dept
- PCoI quashes tapping allegations
- Treasury Bonds Probe PM told Aloysius to resign from PTL
- India’s Choice: Saintliness Vs Efficiency
- Commercial Credit Japanese Firm moves in
- Man shot dead at Punchi Borella
- SAITM still exists, claims GMFSPA Group to meet Maha Sangha
- Lanka tour operators to visit Pakistan
- Fake sms on petrol shortage again! Leads to panic buying in Kandy
- ‘Singer Cup’ Under-19 Schools Cricket 20 wickets fall on day one
- Kohli scores 50th international century Bad light saves Sri Lanka
- I want to continue contributing - Kohli
- England motivated as ever even without Stokes
- Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies aged 49: WTA
- CMSC – Come and Try Day Out Ranjit Jinasena Memorial Autocross
- Cook captures maiden PGA Tour title
- Walkers Tours regain tag rugby title
- Dialog Champions League 2017 Renown SC occupy top spot
- Record-breaking Valencia maintain Barca chase
- Dimitrov eyes Grand Slam after ATP win
- Bolt to make Aussie cricketers ‘explosive’ runners
- Kandy SC in runaway win
- SLC clarifies Dilruwan’s actions
- India take 49 run lead
- Six-year-old wins two Silvers in shooting events
- Renown rout Blue Stars 4-0
- MAS Unichela emerge champions
- Senkadagala Rally
- Air Force SC in 15-7 win over Police SC
- NITFB settles flood of claims in 2017
- CSE approves LVL Energy Fund IPO
- SLT posts 9- month revenue of Rs 56.4 B
- EU cities fight to gain from London’s losses
- CCC says Pak capitalized while SL dilly dallied
- Asian shares retreat on German coalition impasse
- Alibaba aims beyond China and e-commerce
- FX Management Act flays rupee
- National Chamber Seminar on ‘Budget 2018 – Highlights’
- Canada, Mexico to question US auto content demands
- Brandix JV with Best Pacific, Hong Kong
- Hemas Hospitals Thalawathugoda concludes diabetes awareness drive
- Unilever and MullenLowe most awarded partnership at Effies
- MBSL wins International Europe Award for Quality 2017
- SLIM hosts 16th Brand Excellence Awards
- Asia markets mixed as investors focus on US tax reform
- China’s promised 2030 energy revolution
- Will Europe’s economic miracle be derailed by a central-bank power struggle?
- Meet the world’s youngest self-made billionaire
- Flooding the market with fake rhino horns
- TNA crisis Enmity within
- The March of Folly Restitution with transparency rather than revenge
- The National Flag A Muddled Tamil voice
- Rohingya children Face a bleak future
- New Constitution:National perspective versus political aspirations
- China and Vietnam: Beyond Diplomacy
- Middle East: Kurdish Pawn Sacrificed
- Concretes and abstracts Two comics at the Savoy in London
- Row over beer tax
- Illegal mining Muttur’s sandy secret Hundreds of tons of sand taken away at night
- Eastern Provincial Council destroyed- Hafiz
- eLECTRIC AND HYBRID CARS MUST BE PRICED REASONABLY
- Wigneswaran’s claim Devanampiya Tissa was a Tamil king An academically naïve proposition Prof Raj Somadeva
- There is no journey with the UNP
- Core values of the UNP are eroding - Pradeep Jayewardene
- An argument for a new Constitution
- ‘Otriachchi’, ‘Orumiththa Nadu’, ‘Aekeeya Rajya’ and unitary state
- A Constitutional Framework for Sri Lanka
- PAST LIFE AND RULING PLANETS IN KRISHNAMURTHI PADHDHATHI
- Build before onset of Kona Masa
- Palms of road accident victims
- Want to get rid of malefic Saturn ?
- Installing doors and windows according to Vastu
- Our children and our cinema
- INTERPRETING ASIAN CINEMA: CHALLENGES AHEAD
- How Sanskrit journalism is slowly hogging headlines
- ice manufacturing in South Asia
- CMSC’s season finale concert
- Two documentaries on Sri Lanka in Film South Asia 2017
- Politics of nostalgia
- Vibrancy of classical Sinhala poetry
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Conquering Fashion
- Gavin Ryan’s Salon Professionalism to the next level
- THE WRITER’S KITCHENETTE THE CRANBERRY ADVENTURES
- Calamitous Earthquake in Iran
- Scientists warn of ‘giant leap backward’ at climate talks
- Death of Ananda Senaratne