Asian mar­kets mostly down, yen surges

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Most Asian mar­kets fell Wed­nes­day, with Tokyo suf­fer­ing a late sell-off as the yen rose sharply af­ter com­ments from the cen­tral bank chief that the cur­rency would prob­a­bly not weaken fur­ther.

The re­marks from Haruhiko Kuroda reversed morn­ing gains in the dollar against the Ja­panese cur­rency, fu­elled by two U. S. re­ports that gave the Fed­eral Re­serve more ammunition to raise in­ter­est rates.

With U.S. mar­kets end­ing largely un­changed, the re­gion had few cat­a­lysts to fuel trade, while Greece’s on­go­ing bailout re­form talks con­tinue to keep deal­ers jit­tery.

Tokyo ended 0.25 per­cent lower, drop­ping 49.94 points to 20,046.36, while Seoul shed 0.62 per­cent, or 12.71 points, to 2,051.32. How­ever, Syd­ney added 0.13 per­cent, or 7.29 points, to 5,478.6.

Hong Kong lost 1.12 per­cent, or 301.88 points, to close at 26,687.64.

Shang­hai closed down 0.15 per­cent, giv­ing up 7.50 points to 5,106.04 af­ter MSCI de­layed in­clud­ing Chi­nese A shares in its bench­mark in­dex, say­ing it needed to re­solve new is­sues with Chi­nese reg­u­la­tors.

The mar­ket’s rise in the past few days had been prompted partly by ex­pec­ta­tions it would be added, which would have at­tracted more funds.

Ex­pec­ta­tions that the U.S. cen­tral bank would start rais­ing in­ter­est rates be­fore year-end were am­pli­fied on Tues­day af­ter the JOLTS (Job Open­ings and La­bor Turnover Sur­vey) re­port showed a surge in job va­can­cies.

Separately, a U.S. small busi­ness sur­vey showed busi­nesses were hir­ing more peo­ple and pay­ing them more.

How­ever, Kuroda told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee Wed­nes­day that “a U.S. rate hike would not nec­es­sar­ily lead to a cheaper yen” and said a fur­ther decline in the unit was “un­likely.”

While the yen’s sharp decline has been good news for Ja­panese ex­porters, it has pushed up the cost of im­ports and eroded con­sumers’ pur­chas­ing power.

Greece in Fo­cus

“Ja­panese of­fi­cials clearly don’t like to see their cur­rency mov- ing in one di­rec­tion too fast,” Sue Trinh, se­nior cur­rency strate­gist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.

In Tokyo Wed­nes­day the dollar fell to 122.71 yen from 124.53 yen in morn­ing trade. Ear­lier this week it was above 125 yen, at a 13-year high. The euro also suf­fered, buy­ing 139.69 yen from 140.51 in the morn­ing.

In U.S. share trad­ing Tues­day the Dow and S&P 500 ended flat and the Nas­daq fell 0.15 per­cent.

With Greece fac­ing a dead­line at the end of the month for a debt re­pay­ment, it des­per­ately needs to reach an agree­ment that will un­lock bil­lions of eu­ros to help avoid a de­fault and pos­si­ble exit from the eu­ro­zone.

As Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras pre­pares to meet Ger­man Chan- cel­lor An­gela Merkel Wed­nes­day for talks, Valdis Dom­brovskis, the EU’s vice pres­i­dent for the euro, told re­porters that reach­ing an agree­ment “within (the) com­ing days is pos­si­ble.”

Gold fetched US$1,184.25 com­pared with US$1,181.70 late Tues­day. In other mar­kets: — Welling­ton fell 0.99 per­cent, or 58.24 points, to 5,803.87.

Con­tact En­ergy was down 3.12 per­cent at NZ$5.28 and Spark slipped 1.04 per­cent to NZ$2.85.

— Manila closed up 0.83 per­cent, or 60.83 points, at 7,384.27.

Metrobank was 2.33 per­cent higher at 88 pe­sos, Uni­ver­sal Robina rose 1.36 per­cent to 186.50 pe­sos and GT Cap­i­tal edged up 0.08 per­cent to 1,301 pe­sos.

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