Asia report: Most markets higher in breather from volatility
Most markets in Asia finished in the green on Monday, amid a rare display of positive movement after a turbulent week in global markets last week.
In Japan, the markets were closed for a public holiday, as the yen strengthened 0.51% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 105.15.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 1.45% firmer at 2,814.99, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite bounced 1.92% to 1,508.21.
South Korea’s Kospi was 0.23% higher at 1,942.29, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 0.44% to settle at 25,824.72.
Hong Kong was battered by yet another weekend of anti-government protest, with reports of police tear-gassing metro stations and firing so-called “less-than-lethal” rounds on protestors at close range.
The special administrative region’s primary airline, Cathay Pacific, was well into the red after it suspended a pilot for his involvement in the anti-Beijing protests.
It was a sharp about-face from the carrier, whose chairman had said last week that it was not the company’s place to dictate to staff what their political affiliations or opinions should be.
Both of the blue-chip technology stocks were in the green in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 1.27%, and chipmaker SK Hynix rising 1.64%.
Oil prices were lower as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last down 0.64% at $58.16 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate off 0.98% at $53.97.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 eked out gains of 0.09% to close its trading session at 6,590.30, with major miners dragging on the benchmark index’s momentum.
BHP was off 0.75%, Fortescue Metals was down 3.99%, and Rio Tinto lost 2.75% in Sydney trading.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was flat, losing less than half a point to close at 10,872.74.
It was led lower by Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund - an instrument used to trade equity in the country’s largest company, a dairy cooperative - which slid 5.1%.
Fonterra Cooperative Group had said earlier in the day that it was looking at a loss of NZD 675m, and had made the decision not to pay a dividend in a bid to protect farmgate returns for farmer members.
Both of the down under dollars were weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.57% at AUD 1.4822, and the Kiwi retreating 0.27% to NZD 1.5505.