Asia stocks mixed ahead of US jobs data, BoJ holds fire

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Asian stocks were mixed on Fri­day as in­vestors awaited the re­lease of US jobs data later in the day while the Bank of Ja­pan held fire on a fresh round of stim­u­lus.

In­vestors are eye­ing of­fi­cial US pay­roll data later Fri­day for the latest clues about the tim­ing of a Fed­eral Re­serve in­ter­est rate hike, widely ex­pected by Septem­ber or De­cem­ber.

Tokyo re­cov­ered early losses to cap a sec­ond weekly ad­vance, end­ing 0.29 per­cent, or 60.12 points, higher at 20,724.56.

Syd­ney fell sharply, los­ing 2.41 per­cent, or 135.5 points, to 5,474.8 as bank­ing shares weighed heav­ily on the bench­mark S&P/ASX200.

Seoul closed 0.15 per­cent lower, shed­ding 3.06 points to fin­ish at 2,010.23.

Hong Kong and China shares re­bounded af­ter the pre­vi­ous day's losses, with the Hang Seng In­dex up 0.78 per­cent and Shang­hai climb­ing 2.24 per­cent in af­ter­noon trade. Af­ter a two-day meet­ing, the Bank of Ja­pan on Fri­day held off fresh eas­ing mea­sures, say­ing the world's num­ber three econ­omy was steadily re­cov­er­ing, but an­a­lysts widely ex­pect pol­i­cy­mak­ers to act later in the year.

"A lot of the move is com­ing from in­di­vid­ual stocks," Toky­obased Mizuho As­set Man­age­ment Co's Sei­ichiro Iwamoto told Bloomberg News. "It's still too early for the Bank of Ja­pan to in­crease eas­ing. It'll likely come around Oc­to­ber."

Mean­while shares in Aus­tralia's big four banks tum­bled, led by ANZ, whose weaker than ex­pected prof­its and Aus$3 bil­lion ($2.2 bil­lion) cap­i­tal-rais­ing pro­gramme to meet tougher reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments sur­prised the mar­ket.

ANZ closed 7.49 per­cent lower at Aus$30.14, while shares in the Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia and West­pac closed 3.84 per­cent and 3.26 per­cent lower re­spec­tively.

"The feel­ing among in­vestors is the cap­i­tal raise isn't enough," T.S. Lim, a Syd­ney-based an­a­lyst at Bell Pot­ter Se­cu­ri­ties, told Bloomberg News.

Fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor the Aus­tralian Pru­den­tial Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity said last month the na­tion's big­gest banks had to hold more cap­i­tal re­serves as a buf­fer against mort­gages, as part of a global move to strengthen the sec­tor af­ter the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Shang­hai re­bounded on re­ports a gov­ern­ment agency or­dered to buy stocks to stem a mar­ket rout was seek­ing an ad­di­tional two tril­lion yuan ($322 bil­lion). China will an­nounce July trade and in­fla­tion fig­ures this week­end.

Af­ter the Shang­hai mar­ket peaked in mid-June and then fell 30 per­cent in three weeks, the gov­ern­ment in­ter­vened with a res­cue pack­age which in­cluded a crack­down on short-selling, ban­ning ma­jor in­vestors in listed com­pa­nies from selling stock for six months and fund­ing a state-backed com­pany to buy shares.

Else­where gold's weekly de­cline marked its worst run in 11 years, ahead of US jobs data re­leased Fri­day that will pro­vide the Fed­eral Re­serve with guid­ance as to whether an in­ter­est rate hike is timely.

Weak media re­sults led losses on Wall Street on Thurs­day, as the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age dropped 0.69 per­cent to 17,419.75 on wor­ries that in­creased view­ing on smart­phones and other gad­gets will ham­mer the ca­ble tele­vi­sion busi­ness.

In Tokyo forex trade, the dol­lar fetched 124.81 yen against 124.73 yen in New York late Thurs­day.

-- Taipei fell 7.27 points, or 0.09 per­cent, to 8,442.29. Shares in smart­phone gi­ant HTC slumped slumped 10 per­cent to Tw$63, clos­ing at their low­est in more than a decade, while Tai­wan Semi­con­duc­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co fell 0.75 per­cent to Tw$133.

-- In Welling­ton the NZX-50 was down 1.01 per­cent or 60.03 points at 5,868.66. Fletcher Build­ing was 2.13 per­cent off at NZ$7.80 while Con­tact Energy was 1.34 per­cent down at NZ5.15.

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