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Asian Markets at Close Report

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Jul 22, 2016

Asian Markets at Close Report by CNBC on July 22, 2016: Asia Stocks Fall; Nintendo, McDonald's Japan Lose Steam Despite "PoKemon Go" Launh

cnbc.com

Saheli Roy Choudhury


PeopleImages | Getty Images

Asia markets fell on Friday, with shares of Nintendo and McDonald's Holdings losing steam after initially jumping on the news the highly popular "Pokemon Go" app finally launched in Japan, after weeks of anticipation.
Nintendo shares closed up 0.79 percent at 28,220 yen, giving up much of its nearly 5 percent rise earlier. Nintendo, which has seen its shares nearly double since July 6 when the app was first launched in the U.S., owns stakes in both the creators of Pokemon, The Pokemon Company and game developer of "Pokemon Go," Niantic.
So far, the app is available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada as well as many European countries, and most recently Japan.
McDonald's Holdings shares closed up 4.17 percent at 3,620 yen, paring some of nearly 8 percent gains in morning trade. The fast-food company reportedly sponsored the game in Japan, with its stores becoming part of the game as "gyms" where the Pokemon characters can train.
Japan's National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity on Thursday issued a memo containing nine instructions in Japanese to users about "Pokemon Go." Reuters reported the instructions ranged from advising them not to use their real names to warning gamers over fake apps.
The Nikkei 225 closed down 182.97 points, or 1.09 percent, at 16,627.25, with stocks likely under pressure from a relatively stronger yen. For the week, the Japanese benchmark index climbed 0.78 percent.
The Japanese yen strengthened against the dollar overnight, with the currency pair trading at 106.03 on Friday afternoon, compared with levels near 107.15 on Thursday afternoon local time and near 100 two weeks earlier.

The spike in the yen came after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, in a BBC interview broadcast on Thursday, ruled out the possibility of "helicopter money" - or essentially printing money and distributing payouts - to tackle deflation in Japan, amid building expectations that policymakers were gearing up to introduce more stimulus.
The date the interview was conducted was not immediately clear, but since then the Wall Street Journal reported it to have been recorded in mid-June.
"The fact we've only seen a modest recovery in the [currency] pair suggests traders see very little appetite for this uber-unconventional policy change," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at brokerage IG.

Previously, Japan's Kyodo News reported, citing sources close to the matter, that the Japanese government was compiling a stimulus package of at least 20 trillion yen ($188 billion) to help the domestic economy emerge from deflation, and to fend off possible adverse effects from Brexit.
Australia's benchmark ASX 200 closed down 14.19 points, or 0.26 percent, at 5,498.20. In South Korea, the Kospi closed nearly flat at 2,010.34, erasing losses of nearly 0.2 percent from early trade.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was lower by 0.31 percent in late-afternoon trade. Chinese mainland markets were off, with the Shanghai composite closing down 26.58 points, or 0.87 percent, at 3,012.43, and the Shenzhen composite was lower by 18.61 points, or 0.91 percent, at 2,019.56.
Oil prices were fell on Friday afternoon Asia time, after dropping more than 2 percent on Thursday on the back of growing inventories of gasoline and other oil products, Reuters reported.
U.S crude futures were down 0.89 percent at $44.35, after settling down 2.2 percent. Global benchmark Brent was down 0.58 percent at $45.93 a barrel, after closing down 2.1 percent.
 
NIKKEI NIKKEI 16627.25 -182.97 -1.09%
HSI HSI 21964.27 -36.22 -0.16%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 5498.19 -14.21 -0.26%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 3012.43 -26.58 -0.87%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2010.34 -1.88 -0.09%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 6535.25 -36.47 -0.55%
Elsewhere, the dollar dropped from the 97 handle to trade at 96.985 against a basket of currencies. Analysts attributed the lag to "falling stocks and declining yields" stateside.
In company news, shares of Samsung Electronics dropped 1.75 percent. Reuters reported before market open that the consumer electronics maker had sued Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies for patent infringements, with filings in multiple courts in China.
The move escalated an ongoing legal conflict between the two. Huawei, in May, said it sued Samsung in the U.S. and China, accusing the South Korean company of patent infringement for fourth-generation cellular communications technology, Reuters reported.
Samsung Electronics and Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
Shares of South Korean automaker Kia closed flat at 41,650 won, with investors largely overlooking news about the carmaker's manufacturing expansion into India.
Reuters, citing sources close to the matter, said Kia is expected to pick a site next month for its first factory in the South Asian country. Reuters said the move would allow Kia to leverage the existing supplier base of its affiliate Hyundai Motor, India's second-biggest automaker by sales.
Hyundai Motor shares were down 0.77 percent.
In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) left its key interest rate unchanged. The ECB left its benchmark refinancing rate at 0 percent and its interest rate on deposit facility remained at negative 0.4 percent.
The bank was widely expected to preserve its zero interest-rate policy, but the market expects further monetary policy stimulus further down the line from global central banks.
U.S. indexes closed lower on Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average snapping a nine-day winning streak to close down 77.80 points, or 0.42 percent, at 18,517.23. The S&P 500 index slipped 7.85 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,165.17, and the Nasdaq composite was lower by 16.02 points, or 0.31 percent, at 5,073.90.