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

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & - BY JEN­NIFER O’MA­HONY

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

In­vestors are eye­ing of­fi­cial U.S. 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 clos­ing up 0.73 per­cent, or 177.19 points, at 24,552.47, while Shang­hai ended the day 2.26 per­cent, or 82.66 points, higher at 3,744.20.

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

ANZ closed 7.49 per­cent lower at AU$30.14, while shares in the Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia lost 3.84 per­cent, West­pac dropped 3.26 per­cent and Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank closed down 2.29 per­cent.

Aus­tralia’s fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor last month said the na­tion’s big­gest banks had to hold more cap­i­tal re­serves as part of a global move to strengthen the sec­tor af­ter the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

In Shang­hai, Bloomberg News re­ported state-backed China Se­cu­ri­ties Fi­nance Corp. (CSF), tasked with sta­bi­liz­ing the mar­ket, is seek­ing an ad­di­tional 2.0 tril­lion yuan ($322 bil­lion), which would bring its sup­port funds to 5.0 tril­lion yuan.

Stock gains on Fri­day came ahead of the week­end re­lease of Chi­nese trade and in­fla­tion fig­ures for July, which an­a­lysts be­lieve will show weak­ness in the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

Else­where, gold was set to post its sev­enth weekly de­cline — its worst run in 11 years — ahead of U.S. jobs data Fri­day that will pro­vide the Fed­eral Re­serve with guid­ance as to whether an in­ter­est rate hike is timely.

Higher in­ter­est rates limit bul­lion’s ap­peal. The yel­low me­tal fetched US$ 1,089.64 an ounce com­pared with US$1,085.75 late Thurs­day.

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

Euro­pean Stock Mar­kets

Down at Open

Europe’s main stock mar­kets were slightly down at the start of trad­ing on Fri­day as in­vestors await U.S. jobs data later in the day.

In Lon­don the bench­mark FTSE 100 in­dex slipped 0.15 per­cent to 6,6737.23 points.

Frank­furt’s DAX 30 dropped 0.20 per­cent to 11,561.37 points and the CAC-40 in Paris lost 0.08 per­cent com­pared with Thurs­day’s close to stand at 5,187.87.

Euro­pean stock mar­kets ended Thurs­day lower. How­ever, af­ter los­ing nearly 20 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous three days fol­low­ing a five-week clo­sure, Greece’s ATHEX in­dex fin­ished 3.65 per­cent higher. In other mar­kets: — Mum­bai fell 0.22 per­cent, or 61.74 points to end at 28,236.39 points.

Bharat Heavy Elec­tri­cals fell 5.81 per­cent to 265.80 ru­pees, while util­ity ma­jor Oil & Nat­u­ral Gas Cor­po­ra­tion rose 4.42 per­cent to 282.30 ru­pees.

— Kuala Lumpur lost 0.71 per­cent, or 11.99 points to end 1,682.65.

May­bank fell 1.21 per­cent to 8.96 ring­git, Telekom Malaysia dropped 0.30 per­cent to 6.60 while Te­naga Na­sional gained 0.18 per­cent to 11.40 ring­git.

— Jakarta ended down 0.75 per­cent, or 36.26 points, at 4,770.30.

Tele­coms firm Teleko­mu­nikasi In­done­sia gained 0.85 per­cent to 2,955 ru­piah, while len­der Bank Ne­gara In­done­sia slipped 3.38 per­cent to 5,000 ru­piah.

— Bangkok dropped 0.13 per­cent, or 1.79 points, to end at 1,428.79

Bum­run­grad Hos­pi­tal fell 0.48 per­cent to 207.00 baht, while Kasikorn Bank added 0.28 per­cent to 176.50 baht.

— 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 lower at NZ5.15.

— Philip­pine shares closed 0.76 per­cent, or 57.43 points, lower at 7,532.52.

Philip­pine Long Dis­tance Tele­phone was down 1.57 per­cent to 2,756 pe­sos, Uni­ver­sal Robina lost 2.26 per­cent to 190.60 pe­sos, while Globe Tele­com dipped 0.60 per­cent to 2,650 pe­sos.

— Sin­ga­pore was closed for a public hol­i­day.

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