Skip to Content
Market Update

Nikkei Up in Listless Asia

Tokyo-listed equities logged modest gains amid a listless Asian session after the Bank of Japan stood by its existing monetary policy and assessment of the economy.

The Nikkei added 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% while the Hang Seng ended flat%. The Sensex slipped 0.5% and the All Ordinaries also ended unchanged.

The dollar slipped against the yen after the BoJ's announcement and was fetching 103.25 yen at the time of writing, from 103.40 yen just ahead of the decision.

Stocks on the Move

Among the losers, Panasonic was down 1.1% while NEC Corp and Fujitsu were down 2.7% and 1.1% each, respectively.

Softbank shares rose 2.6% after the company's CEO Masayoshi Son said he is still keen for subsidiary Sprint to buy T-Mobile US, according to reports.

Steel shares strengthened with Daido Steel and Aichi Steel up 1.5% and 3.2% each after a broker upgrade for both of them.

Oil companies were also among the day's top gainers with Showa Shell up 1.5% and JX Holdings 2% higher.

Chinese shares saw little action with investors seemingly reluctant to return after the disappointing trade data yesterday. Also, late Monday, China's apex bank released data that showed February bank lending dropped 63% from an all-time high in January.

Some banks were slightly higher after central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said earlier today he expects China to lift its control on banks' interest rates in 1-2 years.

Airline shares and insurers were still weak as searchers continued to look for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet without result. China Eastern extended losses, down a further around 1% while China Southern Airlines recovered 0.4%. Cathay Pacific was down 0.1%. Ping An Insurance was down 0.7%.

The Sensex was taking a breather after rallying to record highs in recent sessions. The 30-share benchmark was flat in the morning session but slipped into the negative zone by end. 

Among the losers, Tata Steel plunged 5.5% while Hindalco and SSLT fell 3.7% each, respectively.

Miners extended losses in Sydney with copper prices at eight-month lows and a drop for spot iron ore prices. Fortescue Metals was down 1.8% and Atlas Iron 1.1% lower, paring losses of over 5%.