markets

Asian Shares Snap Gains as Rally in Yen Rattles Japanese Market

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Asian stocks declined following four consecutive days of gains, as Japanese equities slumped after the yen surged on comments by U.S. administration officials at the Davos World Economic Forum.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.4 percent to 186.04 as of 4:49 p.m. in Hong Kong, with Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sony Corp. among the biggest drags. Japan stocks fell the most in seven weeks as the yen strengthened amid continuing protectionist rhetoric from the Trump administration on trade. Hang Seng China Enterprises Index ended a record stretch of gains, closing lower for the first time this year. South Korea’s benchmark set another record, helped by earnings of SK Hynix Inc.

“Concerns over trade and protectionism are currently the new flavor of the month, adding a tinge of cautiousness in the latest equity surge,” Jingyi Pan, a strategist at IG Asia Pte Ltd, wrote in a note. “The overnight focus had all been on the U.S. dollar with another jab sending the currency weaker against major currencies.”

Summary

  • Topix index -0.9%, Nikkei 225 -1.1%
    • Japan Shares Fall as Yen’s Strength Threatens Exporters’ Profits
    • Japan Earnings Key to Whether Stocks Cope With Yen Gains
  • Hang Seng Index -0.9%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -1.7%, Shanghai Composite Index -0.3%
    • China’s H Shares Finally See Red After Record Streak of Gains
    • HNA Share Pledges Are Said to Be Behind Frozen Bank Accounts
  • Kospi index +1%, Kospi 200 index +1%
  • S&P/ASX 200 -0.1%, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 +0.6%
  • Straits Times Index -1.1%, Malaysia’s KLCI +0.3%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.3%, Philippines Stock Exchange PSEi Index +0.9%, Thailand SET Index little changed, VN Index +1.6%
  • S&P BSE Sensex Index -0.2%, Nifty 50 -0.3%
    • India Stocks Hold Close to Records Ahead of Derivatives Expiry
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