Asia Stocks Mixed as Australia Leads Losses, Hong Kong Gains

  • BlueScope Steel pulls regional gauge down after lower forecast
  • Nerves over geopolitical concerns are receding: CMC Markets

James Athey, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, discusses his top calls for a volatile market. He speaks on 'Bloomberg Markets: European Open.' (Source: Bloomberg)

Asian equities opened the week mixed as investors favored growth markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai, while Australia and Japan declined. The Philippines is closed for a holiday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.1 percent to 159.04 as of 4:40 p.m. in Hong Kong as Japan’s Topix index and Australia’s S&P/ASX200 both fell. BlueScope Steel Ltd. was the biggest drag on the gauge with a decline of 22 percent after an earnings miss and its forecast for narrower margins in the 2018 financial year.

AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. led the advance in Hong Kong after Credit Suisse raised its rating to outperform and boosted its price target, citing the company’s strength in the handset lens market. China oil firms including Cnooc Ltd. boosted the benchmark gauge after the industry was named as one in which China encourages outbound investment.

“It is quite mixed but it does reflect the themes that were in play in the U.S. session, that is safe haven assets are less popular and investors are moving back towards growth,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Geopolitical rattling that occurred over the previous two weeks had investors a little nervous but those nerves are receding a bit; it’s becoming quite clear that nobody wants a war on the Korean peninsula and it’s quite possible that some changes in White House are positives for global growth.”

U.S. stocks rallied on Friday from session lows -- though they still ended the day in negative territory -- after the White House announced that Steve Bannon would be leaving his job as chief strategist, capping a tumultuous week for the Trump administration.

Summary

  • Hang Seng Index +0.4%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index +0.5%
    • Chinese Stocks Buck Regional Trend as Flying Unicom Drives Gains
    • Unicom Rises in Shanghai, Hong Kong on $11.7b Sale
  • Shanghai Composite Index +0.6%, Taiwan’s Taiex Index +0.1%
  • Kospi -0.1%, Kospi 200 Index -0.1%
    • Kospi Stocks Gain Foreign Investors as Index Falls, Won Drops
  • Japan’s Topix Index -0.1%, Nikkei 225 -0.4%
    • Japanese Shares Fall for Fourth Day as Banks, Exporters Retreat
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.4%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 -0.1%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index -0.2%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index -0.2%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.6%, Thailand’s SET Index +0.2%, Vietnam’s VN Index little changed
  • India’s Sensex Index -0.5%
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