Asia report: Stocks mixed as banking concerns linger
Stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Monday, with investors' concern over the banking sector's liquidity lingering following a late sell-off last week.
Shares in Deutsche Bank ended the week plunging on Wall Street after its credit default swaps surged, adding to fears of a rolling banking crisis.
“Asian equities started the week in a subdued fashion following Friday's reversal on Wall Street,” said TickMill Group market analyst Patrick Munnelly.
“Market concerns around European banking names have been allayed as the weekend passed without any significant negative news flow.”
Munnelly noted that in the US, First Citizens Bank agreed to acquire the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank’s assets and deposits.
“The more constructive narrative for the banking sector has also provided support to Deutsche Bank whose stock was trading with near double digit losses on Friday, but is opening in the green this morning.
“The Hang Seng Index and the Shanghai Composite were both negative on the session, despite the People’s Bank of China’s reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cut taking effect today.”
Hong Kong leads losses on mixed day for equities
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 and Topix both increased by 0.33% to reach 27,476.87 and 1,961.84, respectively.
The Central Japan Railway and West Japan Railway showed positive performances on Tokyo’s benchmark, with increases of 2.9% and 2.62%, respectively.
Yokohama Rubber also increased by 2.47%.
China's Shanghai Composite decreased 0.44% to reach 3,251.40, while the Shenzhen Component increased 0.12% to 11,647.94.
China National Chemical Engineering Company and Daqian Ecology were in the red in Shanghai, decreasing 9.88% and 7.75%, respectively.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index decreased 1.75% to reach 19,567.69, with China Hongqiao, Meituan, and China Shenhua Energy showing negative performances, decreasing by 8.08%, 6.28%, and 5.29%, respectively.
In South Korea, the Kospi decreased 0.24% to reach 2,409.22, with KakaoBank and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction among the losers, falling a respective 3.43% and 2.15%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.1% to reach 6,962.00, led by Summerset Group and Telix Pharmaceuticals, which were up 6.42% and 3.23%, respectively.
New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 advanced 0.28% to reach 11,612.86, with Stride Property and Goodman Property at the top of the leaderboard, increasing by a respective 3.94% and 3.5%.
The currencies market was mixed, with the yen last 0.54% weaker against the dollar to trade at JPY 131.44, while the Aussie was 0.09% stronger at AUD 1.5035.
Across the Tasman Sea, the Kiwi retreated 0.11% against the greenback to change hands at NZD 1.6139.
Oil prices showed positive performances, with Brent crude futures last up 1.21% on ICE to reach $75.90 per barrel, while the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate increased 1.27% to $70.14.
Producer prices rise in Japan, consumer inflation slows in Hong Kong
In economic news, Japan's services producer price index (PPI) rose 1.8% year-on-year in February according to official data, making for the third consecutive month of accelerated gains.
The increase was up from the 1.6% rise printed in January.
China's industrial profit for January and February, meanwhile, decreased 22.9% compared to the same period a year ago, according to government data.
That was the steepest decline reported since April 2020, and was a serious decrease from the 4% fall in industrial profit seen in December, according to Refinitiv.
“The sharp fall in industrial profits is likely to moderate from March onwards, as the economic reopening leads to climbing domestic sales and operating income,” said Duncan Wrigley, chief China economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“This will be partly offset by continued price weakness, as supply is likely to be larger than demand.”
Wrigley noted that exports were dropping, even as domestic demand was reviving gradually.
“In addition, more industrial capacity is set to come on line as a result of manufacturing investment over the last few years, encouraged as part of growth support policies.”
Finally on data, Hong Kong's consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate slowed to 1.7% year-on-year in February, down from 2.4% in January, according to the city's census and statistics office.
The figure was lower than the 2.3% economists had pencilled in.
Price rises were driven by electricity, gas, and water at 20.7%, as well as alcoholic drinks and tobacco at 14%.
Durable goods and basic food, however, saw the largest declines, with prices there falling by 2.1% and 0.6%, respectively.
It was the slowest inflation rate for the special administrative region since May last year.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.