Nov 14, 2012
Asian Markets at Close Report | MarketWatch -November 14, 2012-: Asia stocks nose higher after recent sell-down
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian markets ended higher Wednesday as investors bought into beaten-down sectors, with Japanese shares ending a seven-session losing streak and Chinese stocks edging higher ahead of the announcement of the nation’s next generation of leaders.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HK:HSI +1.20% rose 1.2%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO +0.20% and South Korea’s Kospi KR:SEU +0.23% gained 0.2% each, and Taiwan’s Taiex XX:Y9999 +0.33% ticked 0.3% higher.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +0.04% ended fractionally higher at 8,664.73, snapping a string of lower finishes, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index CN:000001 +0.37% climbed 0.4% after changing direction a few times during the choppy trading session.
The advance came despite a weak Wall Street finish Tuesday on worries over the U.S. fiscal outlook, while a successful bond auction by Greece helped ease concern about its ability to repay maturing debt.
“Risk assets re-priced after the [U.S.] election for the economy going over a steeper fiscal cliff. The re-pricing may have run its course, pending greater clarity on the fiscal-cliff negotiations,” said Tim Condon, head of research for Asia at ING Financial Markets.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that it was “deeply implausible” that Republicans wouldn’t help resolve the fiscal cliff. Read full story on Geithner’s remarks.
Asian markets generally shrugged off the lower U.S. close, as tech shares traded broadly higher across the region on the back of better-than-expected earnings results from technology bellwether Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO -0.03% after the close of U.S. trade. Read: Cisco shares surge after hours following results
In Tokyo, gains for the major tech names included a 1.1% rise for Sony Corp. JP:6758 +1.05% SNE +1.13% , a 4.7% advance for Renesas Electronics Corp. JP:6723 +4.67% RNECY -16.75% and a 0.8% climb for Panasonic Corp. JP:6752 +0.78% PC -1.43% .
Shares of debt-laden Sharp Corp. JP:6753 +7.24% SHCAF +7.57% surged 7.2% on reports it was conducting final talks with Intel Corp. INTC -2.34% for a major investment, and was also discussing a possible tie-up with Qualcomm Inc. QCOM +0.83%
Among Seoul-listed tech blue chips, Samsung Electronics Co. KR:005930 +0.44% SSNLF +3.31% added 0.4%, while SK Hynix Inc. KR:000660 +4.93% HXSCL 0.00% rallied 4.9%, and LG Electronics Inc. KR:066570 +4.59% improved by 4.6%.
In Hong Kong, financials were among the major gainers, as shares of index heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC HBC -0.21% HK:5 +1.15% added 1.2%, and China Construction Bank Corp. HK:939 +3.18% CICHY -0.68% rose 3.2%.
Also among the Hang Seng Index components on the rise, casino operator Sands China Ltd. SCHYY +0.08% HK:1928 +3.19% advanced 3.2%.
Over in Australia, some miners enjoyed a rebound after heavy losses Tuesday, with Rio Tinto Ltd. AU:RIO +0.57% RIO -0.86% adding 0.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. AU:FMG +0.76% FSUMF -3.09% gaining 0.8%.
BHP Billiton Ltd. AU:BHP -0.06% BHP -1.23% fell 0.1%. The mining giant announced the sale of its Canadian Ekati diamond-mine interest and marketing operations to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. CA:HW -2.23% HWD -2.53% for $500 million in cash. Read: BHP Billiton sells Ekati to exit diamond business.
Sydney-listed financials also pared losses from the previous session, with National Australia Bank Ltd. AU:NAB +0.56% NAUBF -2.85% adding 0.6% after falling 1.4% on Tuesday, while insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd. AU:QBE +2.38% QBEIF -10.39% rose 2.4%.
But Japanese banks were broadly softer, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. JP:8306 -1.43% MTU -0.23% down 1.4% and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. JP:8411 -0.81% MFG +0.49% off 0.8%, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. JP:8316 +0.04% SMFG -0.68% ended flat. All three were set to report earnings following the close of trade.
Meanwhile, the tentative performance of mainland Chinese shares came as investors awaited the outcome of the Communist Party’s National Congress, which ends Wednesday.
The party was expected Thursday to announce the names of its top leaders, who will then almost certainly occupy top positions in the government in a once-in-a-decade leadership change that will take place next year.
“Expectation [is] that Li Keqiang becomes premier. He is an English-speaking economist who championed rapid urbanization to establish the Chinese middle class. So [that] could be a slight positive to property sector in the long term, but short-term concerns remain on expansion of [the] property tax trial,” said Andrew Sullivan, a principal sales trader at Piper Jaffray.
Sullivan was referring to comments earlier this week reportedly made by China’s housing minister, who said he doesn’t expect any relaxation in restrictions on the sector, and that the government is studying an expansion of an experimental property-tax program.
Shares of real-estate major Gemdale Corp. CN:600383 -0.95% dropped 1%, and Poly Real Estate Group Co. CN:600048 -2.01% shed 2% in Shanghai.
But those losses were countered by gains for some financial- and resource-sector stocks, with PetroChina Co. CN:601857 +0.35% PTR -2.26% rising 0.4% and Ping An Insurance Group Co. CN:601318 +0.67% PNGAY -1.21% adding 0.7%.
Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau. Michael Kitchen is Asia editor for MarketWatch and is based in Los Angeles.
Latest Post Published
Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: How the shutdown could make it harder for the government to retain cybersecurity talentBy Joseph Marks 13-17 minutes THE KEY President Trump delivers an address about border security ...
Markets Hello. Amrith Ramkumar here setting up the last trading day of the week. Stock futures are climbing following yesterd...
bloomberg.com Mark Buchanan The data scientists writing the algorithms that drive giants like Alphabet Inc....