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Market Update

Asian Markets Up in Choppy Trades

Asian markets climbed further in a volatile session Wednesday with sentiment upbeat on improving signs of recovery in the Chinese economy and as fears of militiary strike on Syria eased.

Mainland China's Shanghai Composite added 0.6% while Australia's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries gained 0.5% inching closer to a five-year high logged earlier in May this year.

Tokyo's Nikkei improved 0.8% as the yen grew weaker against the dollar, and Mumbai's Sensex edged up 0.2% at 9:53 a.m. Indian Standard Time.

The Hang Seng, on the other hand, slipped from early peaks and was trading close to the flatline (-0.1%).

The positive sentiment extended across global markets with Wall Street closing higher overnight after Syria accepted Russia's proposal to give up chemical weapons, and President Obama pledged to pursue a diplomatic solution for the Syrian conflict.

Back in Asia, investor continued to be optimistic about recovery in the world's second largest economy following a string of positive data out of China yesterday.

Meanwhile in Japan, government data showed sentiment among large firms improved in the July-September period from the previous quarter.

Stocks on the Move

Exporters in Tokyo found additional support on the back of a softer yen.

Carmaker Mazda Motor accelerated 3.6%, Komatsu Ltd. jumped 3.8% while Nintendo Co. gained 1.2%.

In corporate news, NTT Docomo said that it has teamed up with tech giant Apple Inc. to offer iPhone in Japan, starting this Friday. Shares of Docomo slipped 1.2%, however.

Shares of rival Softbank Corp. bounced 3.7% while those of KDDI Corp. were trading up 1.6%.

Olympus Corp. said it would suspend development of digital SLR cameras amid increasing competition and would instead focus on mirrorless models. Shares of the company bounced 2.8% on heels of the announcement.

On the downside, some construction companies that soared in the previous session on heels of Tokyo's winning bid to host Olympics 2020, retreated amid profit booking.

Taisei Corp. fell 3.4% while Obayashi Corp. erased 2.4%.

In Hong Kong, most metal plays were shining bright but losses in the property segment erased those gains.

Aluminum Corp. of China surged 3.2% while Angang Steel notched 2.8% higher.

Shanghai-listed Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. rallied 4.4% and Inner Mongolia Bao Tou Steel Union Co. gained 3.7%.

Developer Poly Property Group slipped 1.4% while China Overseas Land erased 0.4% amid profit booking.

Telecom stocks were also in the red ahead of an event in Beijing by Apple Inc. to announce the launch of new iphones there. China Mobile Ltd. lost 1.4% and China Telecom gave up 1.7%.

In earnings-related news, global fashion retailer Esprit Holdings posted its first fiscal-year loss since it was first listed in Hong Kong in 1993. But the company said it expected a profit in the next fiscal, after which the shares bounced more than 4%.

In Mumbai, stocks swayed between gains and losses as profit taking emerged after the 30-share benchmark index soared 3.7% in the previous session.

Tata Motors slipped around 2% after gaining as much as 10% Tuesday while Hindustan Unilever gave up 1.8%. ITC, which was another top gainer in yesterday's session, lost more than 1.5% in early trades.

On the other side, some auto firms continued to tread higher. Maruti Suzuki drove up 2.9%, Hero MotoCorp. raced up 2% while Mahindra & Mahindra advanced 1%.

IT firms and metal plays were among other favourites on the buyers' list.

In Sydney, meanwhile, metal-linked firms gained ground after encouraging Chinese data yesterday boosted demand for mining stocks. China is Australia's biggest export destination for metals and natural resources.

Diversified iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals Group jumped 5.4% while index leader BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto tacked on more than 1% each.