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Aug 10, 2016

Asian Markets at Close Report, by MarketWatch on August 10, 2016

Stronger yen stalls Nikkei; other Asian markets mixed

Ese Erheriene

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Wednesday, in a largely muted rea USDJPY, -0.71%  ction to a record high in U.S. stocks, while a stronger yen put pressure on Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average.
The Nikkei NIK, -0.18%   closed down 0.2% after having edged higher in afternoon trade, as the yen strengthened around 0.5% against the U.S. dollar, raising the hurdle for local exporters.
A strong yen erased some ¥492.2 billion ($4.85 billion) in earnings at Japan’s seven major automakers in the April-June quarter, according to Nomura Securities analyst Masataka Kunugimoto.
As a result, the aggregate operating profits fell 10% on year, but they were up 24%, if the impact from the yen’s rises was excluded, Kunugimoto said, noting that “the underlying picture remained buoyant.”
Among Japan’s biggest automakers, Mazda Motor Corp. 7261, -1.94%   was down 1.9%, Honda Motor Co. 7267, -1.02%   fell 1% and Toyota Motor Corp. 7203, -1.11%   lost 1.1%.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.12%   shed gains to decline 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.23%   fell 0.1%, and South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.04%   ended the day flat.
While China stocks fell, investors were piling into the country’s domestic bond market on expectations of monetary easing this year. This sent 10-year government bond yields to below 2.7% earlier in the session, a historic low, according to Commerzbank AG. Bond yields move inversely with prices.
The China 10-year benchmark bond was last yielding 2.750%, Thomson Reuters data showed.