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Asia report: Markets mostly higher as crude continues recovery

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 01 Feb 2018

Asia report: Markets mostly higher as crude continues recovery

(ShareCast News) - Markets in Asia finished mostly in the green on Thursday, rebounding from large sell-offs earlier in the week, with the stark exception of China.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 1.68% to close at 23,486.11, as the yen weakened 0.36% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 109.58.

Energy stocks were among the leaders in Tokyo as oil prices rose, with Inpex adding 2.71% and JXTG Holdings rising 3.12%.

Video games giant Nintendo was ahead 0.52% after it announced a forecast-busting 261% rise in third-quarter profits to JPY 116.5bn.

The company also reported it was teaming up with US-based film studio Illumination to produce a feature based on its character 'Mario'.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite slid 0.99% to 3,446.24, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite lost 3%.

The losses in China came despite solid performance from major banks - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China added 2.67% by end-of-play.

Performance in the country also flew in the face of the unofficial Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers' index, which beat expectations.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.08% to 2,568.54, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 0.75% to 32,642.09.

Technology plays were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics reversing earlier gains to close down 0.16%, while chipmaker rival SK Hynix rose 1.22%.

Manufacturers were up on the Korean peninsula, led higher by steel giant Posco, which tacked on 3.81%.

Oil prices continued to rise after the region went to bed, with Brent crude last up 1.01% at $69.59 and West Texas Intermediate adding 1.09% to $65.44.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was ahead 0.87% at 6,090.10, with gains seen across most sectors.

The hefty financials subindex rose 1.15%, and materials added 1.05%, while oil stocks were higher on recovering crude prices.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 joined China in the red, falling 0.7% to 8,383.87.

It was led lower by energy retailer Contact, which was off 2.3%, closely followed by retirement property developer Summerset, which lost 2.1%.

Both of the down under dollars were weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.67% at AUD 1.2496 and the Kiwi retreating 0.13% to NZD 1.3595.

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