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Asian Markets at Close Report

European Markets at Close Report

Jan 27, 2017

Asian Markets at Close Report on January 27, 2017: Asian Markets Tick Higher ahead of Lunar New Year's Holida

marketwatch.com
 
Ese Erheriene 
 
Investors’ renewed enthusiasm for risk continued into Asia-Pacific trading on Friday morning, as equities continued to build on recent gains and the dollar crept upward, breaching 115 yen for the first time this week.

The shifts in asset prices have come as investors have had different interpretations of what Trump administration policies will mean in the U.S. and worldwide. Concerns weighed on asset prices at the beginning of the week, giving support to haven assets like the yen and gold. But investor outlooks brightened as the week wore on.
The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.34%   was up 0.4% on Friday morning. Volumes will likely be light in Asia ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. That could exacerbate price swings in the region.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.75%   was recently 0.7% higher.
“The lead is coming from Wall Street,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Group. “With the Dow Jones touching a fresh high, there’s a new wave of interest in the market.” The Dow rose above 20,000 for the first time this week and has climbed for three straight sessions. It added 0.2% overnight, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell.
Despite the sentiment turn in recent days, investors aren’t blindly bullish.
“Even though there is optimism…there is an increase of bearish bets that’s really countering the optimism,” Pan said. As a result, investors in Asian markets should have “the expectation of some [price] moderation.”
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.06%   was down 0.1% as its half-day session began; shortened sessions will also be in place in Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.35%   and STI, +0.43%   Markets in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam are closed.
Bank stocks were among the biggest gainers, buoyed by a continuation of the postelection rally in the financial sector due to expectations of rising U.S. interest rates.
In Japan, the Topix bank subindex was up 1.4% after opening at a three-week high. Australia’s Big Four banks — Westpac Banking Corp. WBC, +1.83%  , Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA, +0.91%  , National Australia Bank Ltd. NAB, +1.39%   and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. ANZ, +1.02%   — were between 0.7% and 1.7% higher.
Japanese government-bond yields fell after the Bank of Japan offered to increase buying JGBs with maturities of five to 10 years to 450 billion yen ($3.9 billion) from 410 billion yen. The 10-year yield was at 0.07%, versus 0.08% earlier and 0.09% Thursday.