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Asian Markets at Close Report

European Markets at Close Report

Aug 9, 2016

Asian Markets at Close Report, by MarketWatch on August 9, 2016: Investors Stocks Rise as Talk of OPEC Summit Cheers Investors


marketwatch.com

Kenan Machado


Asian shares were broadly higher Tuesday, lifted by a surge in U.S. oil prices and upbeat data from China.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.69%   added 0.7%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.27% rose 0.3%, and South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.62% gained 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.71%  climbed 0.7%, though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.13%  retreated 0.1%.
China’s Producer Price Index, which measures prices at the factory gate, declined 1.7% in July from a year earlier, compared with a 2.6% year-over-year drop in June. That was a better result than economists had expected, and suggested the declines in producer prices may be bottoming out, after lingering in deflationary territory for more than four years.
News that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries planned to hold informal talks in September, possibly leading to production cuts, pushed U.S. oil prices CLU6, -0.07%  up 2.9% to $43.02 a barrel on Monday, though prices retreated in Asian trade.
Read: Oil market déjà-vu sets in as OPEC plans ‘informal’ meeting
The oil-price gains lifted shares of Cnooc Ltd. 0883, +0.97%  , China’s largest oil and natural gas producer, which gained 1% in Hong Kong.
In Asia afternoon trade, Brent crude prices LCOV6, -0.20%  gave up some of their gains to trade 0.8% lower at US$45.03. This was mostly on profit-taking, as analysts expressed skepticism that major oil producers would agree to a production freeze in September. Even if an agreement is reached, it would have limited impact on prices as global oil production is nearly at full tilt, some analysts said.
Commodity shares boosted
Meanwhile, commodity stocks across Asia got a boost from Monday’s trade data from China.
“China’s July trade data...further underscored the improved global demand for commodities,” said IG market analyst Angus Nicholson, adding the volume of copper and iron ore imported by China continued to grow at strong levels in July.
In Australia, shares of Rio Tinto Ltd. RIO, +1.56%  gained 1.6%, while Hong Kong-listed MMG Ltd. 1208, +0.00%  , a unit of China’s Minmetals Corp, rose as much as 1% during the session before ending flat.
“Coal and steel prices picked up significantly on speculation that increased government spending on infrastructure projects will lift demand for hard commodities,” said Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist for Asia at Commerzbank AG.

Billionaires have emerged wealthier and more numerous than the year before, among other findings, a new report shows.
Elsewhere in the region, preliminary data from South Korea’s Finance Ministry showed that retail sales there have continued to pick up in that country.
Sales at South Korea’s top department stores rose 10.5% in July from a year earlier, building on June’s 13.5% gain. Sales at Korea’s leading discount-store chains also rose 5.8% in July from a year ago, after a 2.9% rise in the preceding month.
Among Korean retailers, Lotte Shopping Co. 023530, +0.51%  rose 0.5% on Tuesday, and Shinsegae Co. 004170, +1.38%  added 1.4%.
In Hong Kong, profit-taking pressure sent shares of key developers down, with Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. 0016, -0.27%  shedding 0.3%, and Sino Land Co. 0083, -1.01%  sliding 1%.
The Hang Seng Property Index, however, was still up 12.1% since the start of the year, and analysts expect further gains with U.S. interest rates likely to remain very low.