Skip to Content
Market Update

Asian Markets Start Higher; Shanghai Slips

Most Asian markets started the week on a positive note Monday with Japanese stocks leading the gains as the yen dropped to a four-year low against the dollar.

The Nikkei was up 2.1% at 12:40 p,.m. Tokyo time. The Sensex opened 0.4% higher while the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries gained 0.3%.

Among Chinese bourses, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was a tad higher-- up 0.1% but the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% after a powerful earthquake in southwestern China over the weekend left 189 people dead.

In the currencies market, the yen lost ground agains major currencies of the world after Japanese finance minister said the G20 group of countries posed no objection to the Bank of Japan's recently announced aggressive monetary policies to beat inflation.

At the time of writing, the USD/JPY pair was trading 0.3% higher at 99.83. Commodities, including gold, silver and crude oil, were also trading mostly higher.

Stocks on the move

Exporters in Tokyo were trading broadly higher boosted by the yen's weakness. Mazda Motor Corp. accelerated more than 5.5%, Nissan Motor Co Ltd. rose 3.7% while Tokyo Electron Ltd. and Sumco Corp. moved up around 4% each.

Resources stocks, financials and retailers supported the broad market gains.

In Hong Kong, insurance companies traded under pressure in the wake of the earthquake in the Sichuan province. China Life Insurance dropped 1.9%, Ping An  Insurance retreated 1.7%.

Property developers were among other laggards. On the mainland, Gemdale Corp., Poly Real Estate and China Vanke lost more than 3% each.

Among gainers in Mumbai, Coal India topped the charts - up 3.8%, HDFC Bank was 2.3% higher, Hero MotoCorp added 2.2% while L&T climbed 2%.

On the flipside, Wipro tumbled 9.4% even though the IT giant reported 16.7% rise in net profit for the fourth quarter.

Other IT stocks were also lower -- Infosys lost 1.8% while TCS erased 0.5%.

In Sydney, miners and banking stocks scored slim gains. Index leader BHP Billiton climbed 0.3% while Rio Tinto tacked on a percent.

Banks NAB, Westpac and ANZ were up around 0.2% each.