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Feb 4, 2019

Asian Markets Closing Report: Asian markets rise; Sony shares plunge more than 8 percent

Eustance Huang



Shares in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia saw gains on Monday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, which closed earlier at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN today with the eve of the Lunar New Year holidays, edged up 0.21 percent to close at 27,990.21.
Over in Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.46 percent to close at 20,883.77 while the Topix rose 1.07 percent to finish its trading day at 1,581.33. Shares of tech giant Sony closed down 8.07 percent after the company cut its sales and operating revenue forecast for the fiscal year.
The ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.48 percent to close at 5,891.20, with the sectors mostly higher.
The Royal Commission which looked into misconduct in Australia's financial sector released its final report on Monday, with 76 recommendations for practices across banking, insurance, and financial advice.
"My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first. From today the sector must change, and change forever," said Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Stock markets in China and South Korea were closed on Monday due to holidays.
Stocks stateside also gained as the U.S. government released strong jobs growth data that beat expectations. The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Refinitiv expect the U.S. economy to have added 170,000 jobs in January.
The 30-stock Dow rose 64.22 points to 25,063.89, its sixth straight week of gains and its longest since November 2017. The S&P 500 closed 0.1 percent higher at 2,706.53, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.25 percent to 7,263.87.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.711 after seeing lows below 95.4 last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.75 against the dollar after touching highs below 108.8 in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7230 after seeing lows below $0.715 last week.
— Reuters contributed to this report.
Correction: This article was updated to reflect that the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.21 percent to close at 27,990.21 on Monday.

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