Asia report: Markets mixed after stellar US session overnight
Markets in Asia finished in a mixed state on Thursday, with Chinese equities leading the fallers, following a surge on Wall Street overnight after several sessions of sell-offs.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.88% at 23,235.47, as the yen strengthened 0.11% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 106.06.
Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing was down 0.17%, while among the benchmark’s other major components, robotics specialist Fanuc was up 2.59% and technology giant SoftBank Group added 2.17%.
The broader Topix index managed gains of 1.21% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,624.86.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.61% at 3,234.82, and the smaller, technology-centric Shenzhen Composite was off 2.14% at 2,129.24.
South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.87% at 2,396.48, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was off 0.64% at 24,313.54.
The blue-chip technology stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 1.37%, while chipmaker SK Hynix was down 0.91%.
The mixed moves in Asia came after equities on Wall Street rocketed ahead overnight, following several sessions of negative movements led by technology stocks stateside.
Investors were also looking ahead to the European Central Bank’s interest rate decision later in the global day, where it was expected to make no policy changes, as well as the weekly jobless claims report from the US Labor Department.
“It was only in June the ECB expanded the size of its Pandemic Emergency Asset Purchase program from €750bn to €1.35trn as well as extending it into the middle of next year, in an attempt to mitigate the effects of coronavirus economic shock on the wider European economy,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
“While we’ve seen some evidence of an economic bounce back from the lockdowns seen in March and April, there are rising concerns that the recovery is now faltering, while the recent move in the euro to 1.2000 has also given rise to fears that this in itself will also be deflationary.
“The recent intervention by ECB chief economist Philip Lane in talking the euro lower gives an indication that the Governing Council is concerned about the effect a stronger currency might have on the overall recovery story in Europe.”
Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude last down 0.74% at $40.49 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate off 1.05% at $37.65.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.51% to 5,908.50, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was ahead 0.62% at 11,811.78.
Both of the down under dollars were weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.17% at AUD 1.3754, while the Kiwi weakened 0.12% to NZD 1.4979.