Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Asian Stocks Mixed as More Markets Reopen
The Big Question: How will markets respond to the earnings season?
Major Asian equity markets were mixed in Tuesday morning trading, with shares in Tokyo and Seoul edging up and shares on the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong slightly down.
In Japan, equities went into a catch-up rally after investors returned from a long weekend. The Nikkei 225 was up 0.38 percent to 20,769 at around midday. Japan’s markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.
In South Korea, the KOSPI jumped 1.86 percent to 2,439 before midday. The South Korean market returned from a weeklong holiday closure on Tuesday. The gains in the morning session were largely supported by market expectations about technology companies’ earnings ahead of earnings season. Shares of Samsung Electronics and other tech giants posted strong gains in the morning trading session.
In Greater China, equities were slightly down in the first half of the Asian trading session after strong gains on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.26 percent to 3,365 before midday, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was trading 0.02 percent below the flat line at 28,322.
In China, the private purchasing managers index or PMI for the services sector released on Monday fell to a 21-month low in September, suggesting sluggish growth in the service sector of the world’s second-largest economy. Also, China’s foreign exchange reserves grew for the eighth straight month to $3.109 trillion in September.
Down Under, the ASX 200 also gained 0.10 percent to 5,733 at midday on Tuesday.
Talk of the Day: With earnings season coming up soon, all eyes are on some of the world’s largest companies, including banks in the US, automakers in Japan and electronics manufacturers in South Korea.
Also in the news: Japan’s opposition leader has questioned the stability of the US White House. That could send some worries across the market because it is sign tension between Japan and the US – two close allies – should the challenger win. It also has the potential to complicate the North Korea situation further.
Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session
|Indexes||Value at Midday||Daily Change|
|Japan- Nikkei 225||20,769||0.38%|
|China-Shanghai Composite Index||3,365||-0.26%|
|Hong Kong –Hang Seng||28,322||-0.02%|
Prices of cryptocurrencies were also trading in a mixed mode overnight during the Asian trading session, with bitcoin and litecoin prices pointing higher and ethereum slightly down.
At midday in Asia, the bitcoin price was up 0.58 percent to $4,792. Bitcoin largely maintained the gains from Monday, when the virtual currency surged all the way to as high as near the $4,850 level.
Ethereum was down 0.15 percent to $295.50 before midday. The virtual currency saw some choppy trading activity on Monday. Ethereum has now been trending down since Sunday.
Litecoin shook off some heavy losses on Monday, gaining 0.68 percent in Tuesday morning’s session to $50.37 at midday on Tuesday.
The Japanese yen was flat against the US dollar at midday Friday to 112.67 per dollar.
The Chinese yuan gained 0.33 percent against the US dollar to 6.6014.
The Australian dollar gained 0.40 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2843 per dollar at midday.
WTI Oil was up 0.20 percent to $49.62 per barrel.
Brent Crude gained 0.11 percent to $55.82 per barrel.
Gold was up 0.25 percent to $1,286 an ounce.
Business News across Asia
In China, Renewed calls for financial market opening gained much attention on Tuesday. The Chief of People’s Bank of China, the central bank, called for accelerated implementation of market reforms and opening up of the massive financial market.
Take away: Though such calls are not rare, the timing – ahead of the upcoming Party Congress – and the person – central bank chief – could mean a real buying opportunity could come up following the big meeting.