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Asia, Europe and US Markets at Close Report

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                                                                            ASIA Hong Kong and Australia close out 2018 with annual declines Eustance Huang Stocks in Asia were mixed on the final day of 2018, as most major markets around the globe were set to record calendar year declines. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.34 percent to finish the trading year at 25,845.70. The day’s gains, however, were unable to offset the index’s performance for 2018 — with it declining about 13.61 percent as compared to its final close of 2017. Hong Kong’s markets closed at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN today for New Year’s Eve. The ASX 200 in Australia, meanwhile, slipped 0.14 percent to close out 2018 at 5,646.40. The benchmark Australian index ended 2018 lower by 6.9 percent as compared to its final close of 2017. Australia’s markets closed at 11:10 a.m. HK/SIN today for New Year’s Eve. On Monday, the materials subindex Down Under gained 0.4 percent, as shares of major miners advanced

Asia, Europe & US markets at Close Report.

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                                                                                ASIA Japan leads declines amid broad slip in Asian stocks Eustance Huang Stocks in Asia were broadly lower on Friday, with Japanese equities leading the fall. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.11 percent on the day as it closed at 20,166.19, while the Topix index declined by 1.91 percent to finish its trading week at 1,488.19. The benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped more than 2.5 percent in the previous trading session. Shares of Japanese banks fell on the back of the Bank of Japan’s decision on Thursday to keep interest rate targets unchanged. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 2.22 percent while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropped 2.21 percent. Japanese banks have suffered as a result of the central bank’s loose monetary policy, which has had the side effect of impacting the revenues of the country’s lenders. Over in South Korea, the Kospi recovered from earlier losses to close slightly higher a