Asian Shares Mixed Ahead Of Data-heavy Week
Asian stocks closed on a mixed note on Monday as US President Donald Trump's tour of Asia continued and investors awaited a slew of data from China, Japan and Australia this week for directional cues. Concerns about political instability in the UK and Saudi Arabia also weighed on markets.
The pound came under selling pressure after the Sunday Times reported that 40 Conservative members of Parliament intend to sign a letter of no-confidence in British Prime Minister Theresa May.
A surge in financials following Beijing's deregulation in the financial sector helped Chinese stocks finish the day solidly higher.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 15.16 points or 0.44 per cent to 3,447.84 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.36 per cent at 29,227 in late trade.
Japanese shares fell sharply to end near two-week low, with realty and technology stocks pacing the decliners after recent rallies.
The Nikkei average tumbled 300.43 points or 1.32 per cent to 22,380.99, extending losses for the fourth straight session and marking its lowest closing level since Oct. 31. The broader Topix index finished 0.94 per cent lower at 1,783.49.
Realty stocks such as Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsui Fudosan lost 3-4 per cent while tech stocks Tokyo Electron and Advantest declined 1-2 per cent. Nissin Foods Holdings soared over 7 per cent on solid earnings results.
Australian shares closed slightly lower, dragged down by financials as banks ANZ and Westpac fell sharply after going ex-dividend. ANZ shares lost 2.7 per cent while Westpac fell 2.4 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 7.60 points or 0.13 per cent to 6,021.80 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 7.10 points or 0.12 per cent at 6,097.20.
Higher base metals prices helped lift miners, with heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto closing up around 1 per cent each. The Aussie dollar was little changed despite upbeat comments from the Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Guy Debelle and the escalating citizenship MP eligibility fiasco. Seoul stocks closed lower as investors fretted over delay in the US tax reform bill. The benchmark Kospi shed 12.60 points or 0.50 per cent to end at 2,530.35, with S-Oil and SK Innovation ending down around 4 per cent each. Automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors rallied 3-4 per cent on hopes of improved sales in China.
New Zealand shares closed marginally higher as milk marketer A2 Milk rebounded from recent losses after a positive presentation to investors. Dual-listed banks and accounting software firm Xero were among the worst performers.
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was moving up 0.2 per cent and Singapore's Straits Times index was marginally higher while Malaysian shares were little changed, India's Sensex was down 0.2 per cent and the Taiwan Weighted dropped half a per cent.
US stocks closed mostly lower on Friday as investors continued to digest the details of the Senate Republican version of tax reform legislation and healthcare stocks plunged amid talks of Amazon getting into the pharmacy business. Disappointing consumer sentiment data also weighed on markets.
The Dow slid 0.2 per cent and the S&P 500 edged down 0.1 per cent to snap an eight-week winning streak, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed marginally higher.
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