Asia Stocks Mixed as Investors Await Yellen's Address in London

  • Japan’s Topix closes at highest level since August 2015
  • South Korean retailers gain as consumer confidence data rises

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Press Conference in Two Minutes

Asian stocks were mixed as gains by Japanese exporters and South Korean retailers were offset by declines in health-care stocks.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent as of 4:20 p.m. in Hong Kong with the number of stocks that gained roughly matching those that fell. Materials and technology companies were the best performers, while utilities and health-care companies were the biggest decliners. With little fresh economic data in the region, investors’ focus has turned to an address by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in London Tuesday.

“The uncertainty lies with how hawkish Yellen’s tone will lean and prices could remain in consolidation ahead of this event,” said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based analyst at IG Asia Pte Ltd. “To a certain extent, the challenges with regards to the passage of the U.S. health-care bill appears to be keeping the rally in health-care stocks at bay.”

While the Hang Seng index was little changed, a string of Hong Kong stocks suddenly plunged during the day, with traders pointing to links between some of the companies and a brokerage that’s under regulatory investigation. Fifteen firms tumbled by more than 40 percent, losing a combined HK$46 billion ($5.9 billion) in market value.

Summary

  • Topix index +0.4%, highest close since Aug. 2015; Nikkei 225 Index +0.4%
  • Hang Seng Index -0.1%; Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.3%; Shanghai Composite Index +0.2%
    • Taiex Index little changed
    • Hong Kong Small Cap Stock Plunge Wipes Out $5.9 Billion in Value
    • China Stocks Reverse Drop in Afternoon as Consumer Shares Gain
    • Half the China Stocks for MSCI Inclusion From 3 Districts: Chart
  • Kospi +0.1%; Kospi 200 index +0.1%
  • Sensex Index -0.9%, Nifty 50 Index -1%
    • India’s Sensex Drops a Second Straight Session on Banks, Energy
    • Fortis Healthcare Slips as Founders Continue to Cut Stake
    • India Oil Marketing Firms Fall on 1Q Inventory Loss Expectations
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.1%
    • Capita Assets Good Fit for Link, Albeit Some Risks: Street Wrap
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.2%; Philippine Stock Exchange Index +0.8%; Vietnam’s VN Index -0.7%
    • Indonesia and Malaysia closed for holidays

— With assistance by Jeff Sutherland

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