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Asia report: Chipmakers march ahead as markets turn green

By Josh White

Date: Friday 15 Oct 2021

Asia report: Chipmakers march ahead as markets turn green

(Sharecast News) - Markets were higher across the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, with Hong Kong returning from two days off, and Taiwan's main board leading the gains.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.81% at 29,063.63, as the yen weakened 0.58% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 114.34.

Fashion firm Fast Retailing slipped 0.12%, while among the benchmark's other major components, automation specialist Fanuc surged 5.62% and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group added 0.61%.

The broader Topix index was 1.86% firmer by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 2,023.93.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was ahead 0.4% at 3,572.37, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite eked out gains of 0.05% at 2,400.52.

South Korea's Kospi was 0.88% higher at 3,015.06, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 1.48% to 25,330.96.

Traders in the special administrative region were back at their desks for the first time since Tuesday, after markets were closed by a typhoon warning on Wednesday and a public holiday on Thursday.

The blue-chip technology stocks ended the week on a high in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 1.01% and SK Hynix jumping 4.9%.

In Taiwan, the Taiex was ahead 2.4% by the end of trading, led higher by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which leapt 4.71%.

On Wednesday, the chipmaker reported third quarter net profit of TWD 156.3bn (£4.07bn), beating market expectations for a profit of around TWD 149bn.

"Asian equities are a sea of green in the wake of yesterday's positive US session ... aided by news Chinese regulators are encouraging major banks to speed up mortgage approvals," said analysts at on Friday morning.

Oil prices were higher as the region entered the weekend, with Brent crude last up 0.95% at $84.80 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 0.91% to $82.05.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.69% to 7,362.00, with flag carrier Qantas Airways ascending 1.97% on the back of a proposed loosening of travel restrictions.

Authorities in the country's most populous state of New South Wales said earlier in the day that international travel restrictions would be scrapped for fully-vaccinated international travellers from 1 November.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was the region's odd one out, slipping 0.28% to 13,012.19, with the country's large renewable energy plays leading the losses.

Contact Energy was down 1.7% and Meridian Energy was 1.3% weaker, after a rebalancing of the S&P Clean Energy Index led to both companies being downweighted.

Majority state-owned airline Air New Zealand was in the green by 0.6%, meanwhile, on the prospect of an uptick in demand on lucrative trans-Tasman routes following the travel announcement in New South Wales.

The down under dollars were a mixed picture against the greenback, with the Aussie trading flat at AUD 1.3485, while the Kiwi strengthened 0.19% to NAD 1.4185.

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