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Market Update

Asian Markets Rebound; Nikkei Listless

Asian bourses outside Japan were trading with modest gains Thursday, bouncing back from sharp losses in the previous session as upbeat U.S. jobs data lifted sentiment.

At the time of writing, the Shanghai Composite was up 1%, the Hang Seng rallied 1.8% while the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries gained 1% too.

The S&P BSE Sensex was trading up 0.6% at 9:33 a.m. Indian Standard Time but Tokyo's Nikkei lagged behind, down 0.2% as a stronger yen against dollar hurt exporters.

Overnight, data released by Automatic Data Processing showed U.S. private sector jobs rose more than expected in June, while weekly jobless claims dropped to 343,000 from the previous week, according to a Labor Department report. That boosted confidence at open during the Asian trade.

Among currencies, the safe-haven yen gained ground against the dollar amidst the ongoing unrest in Egypt. The USD/JPY pair was trading slightly below the 100-yen mark.

In commodities, oil ticked higher, closing above the key $100-level a barrel on the New York Mercantile exchange, amid concerns political unstability in Egypt could distrupt oil supplies to the global markets.

Stocks on the Move

Resources stocks were broadly higher across the region.

In Hong Kong, Jiangxi Copper vaulted 4.4%, Aluminum Corp. of China bounced 5.7% while Angang Steel gained 1.6%.

Oil firms CNOOC rose 3.8%, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. enhanced over 3% while PetroChina added 2.7%.

Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group jumped 5.8% while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were up around 0.5% to 1%.

Energy player Linc Energy vaulted over 16% while Beach Energy climbed 4.5%.

Among other gainers in Sydney, troubled surfwear retailer Billabong International advanced 18% amid reports U.S. hedge funds Centrebridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management have taken control of the company's debt.

Banks also notched higher, albeit with modest gains -- NAB and Westpac Banking Group added around 0.4% while Commonwealth Bank edged up 0.1%.

Global banking giant HSBC Holding plc (Hong Kong) tacked on a percent while Hang Seng Bank improved 0.6%.

In Mumbai, defensive plays found some support. Among the top gainers, telecom giant Bharti Airtel added 1.8%, FMCG giant ITC scored 1.6%, drug maker Sun Pharma added 1.4% and Cipla enhanced around a percent.

IT services exporters gained momentum as the rupee plunged below the 60-mark against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.

Wipro added 1.6%, Infosys climbed 0.9% and TCS gained 0.6%.

On the flipside, exporters in Tokyo were broadly lower. Nissan Motor Corp. erased 1.9%, Komatsu Ltd. lost 1.7% while Tokyo Electron Ltd. pulled back 1.6%.

Among other significant losers, Konami Corp. tumbled over 6%, Mitsubishi Materials lost more than 2%, and Fujitsu Ltd. erased 1.7%.

In news, Dentsu Inc. announced plans to open a public share sale to raise funds to pay off a short-term debt owing to the takeover of Aegis. Shares of Dentsu plunged nearly 9%.

Meanwhile, Softbank Corp.'s merger with U.S. based Sprint Nextel and Clearwire Corp won final approval from U.S. regulators on Wednesday. Shares of Softbank Corp. were trading down 1.8% despite the upbeat news.