Tokyo stocks down, Shang­hai up in thin trade

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Tokyo stocks closed lower yes­ter­day, though Shang­hai gained and Seoul rose marginally in quiet trad­ing with most of the re­gion’s other key mar­kets closed for pub­lic hol­i­days.

In­cen­tives were few and the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age, which on Fri­day again fell short of 20,000 points in light trade ahead of the hol­i­day week­end, pro­vided lit­tle tail­wind.

In­vestors in Ja­pan cashed in on a re­cent global rally fu­elled largely by ex­pec­ta­tions for the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion of US Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump. Tokyo’s bench­mark Nikkei 225 in­dex, which was closed on Fri­day for a na­tional hol­i­day, ended down 0.16 per­cent, or 31.03 points, to 19,396.64. The broader Topix in­dex of all first-sec­tion is­sues fell 0.37 per­cent, or 5.68 points, at 1,538.14.

“Se­lec­tive shares are fac­ing profit-tak­ing fol­low­ing the re­cent gains, as many in­vestors are on the side­lines in a hol­i­day mood, look­ing to fresh fac­tors to trade,” said Shinichi Ya­mamoto, bro­ker at Okasan Se­cu­ri­ties in Tokyo. Ja­pan’s banks re­mained un­der sell­ing pres­sure on neg­a­tive news in the sec­tor from over­seas. Italy on Fri­day ap­proved a state-funded res­cue of the world’s oldest bank,

Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse agreed to pay a to­tal of al­most $12.5 bil­lion to set­tle dis­putes over the sale of mort­gage-backed se­cu­ri­ties dur­ing the global financial cri­sis.

Ja­pan’s MUFG dropped 1.22 per­cent while its ri­val Su­mit­omo Mit­sui Financial Group was down 0.84 per­cent.

“There are very few mar­ket par­tic­i­pants around at the end of the year, and with some short-term over­buy­ing, Ja­panese stocks may keep ad­just­ing their lev­els,” Shoji Hi­rakawa, chief global strate­gist at Tokai Tokyo Re­search In­sti­tute Co, told Bloomberg.

But Nin­tendo was up 4.06 per­cent to 24,555 yen af­ter the com­pany’s pres­i­dent told a Ja­panese news­pa­per it plans to re­lease at least three game apps for smart­phones a year.

Chi­nese stocks closed higher yes­ter­day af­ter the mar­ket re­bounded fol­low­ing losses ear­lier this month, deal­ers said. The bench­mark Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex gained 0.40 per­cent, or 12.42 points, to 3,122.57 on turnover of 170.6 bil­lion yuan ($24.6 bil­lion).

And the Shen­zhen Com­pos­ite In­dex, which tracks stocks on China’s sec­ond ex­change, added 0.37 per­cent, or 7.31 points, to 1,978.37 on turnover of 207.7 bil­lion yuan. Both in­dexes had fin­ished the morn­ing ses­sion lower be­fore re­cov­er­ing for the day. Seoul rose slightly, end­ing up 0.09 per­cent. Financial mar­kets were closed in Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, Syd­ney, Kuala Lumpur, Welling­ton and Jakarta for pub­lic hol­i­days. Cur­rency mar­kets were quiet. “The un­der­cur­rent is still a strong dol­lar, but there was an ad­just­ment phase in the past few days af­ter a surge on ex­pec­ta­tions for Mr Trump,” Mar­ito Ueda, se­nior dealer at FX Prime, told AFP.

Sen­ti­ment favour­ing a strong dol­lar “will likely con­tinue un­til Mr Trump ac­tu­ally takes of­fice in Jan­uary and maybe dur­ing the so-called ‘hon­ey­moon pe­riod’, or 100 ini­tial days of his gov­ern­ment, un­less some geopo­lit­i­cal risks emerge,” Ueda added. The green­back traded at 117.14 yen, down from 117.31 yen on Fri­day in New York. The euro, mean­while, rose slightly, trad­ing at $1.0464 from $1.0454 on Fri­day.

TOKYO: A man walks by an elec­tronic stock board of a se­cu­ri­ties firm in Tokyo yes­ter­day. Stock mar­kets in Ja­pan and China de­clined yes­ter­day in light trad­ing af­ter Christ­mas with most other Asian mar­kets closed. — AP

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