Asia stocks trim gains as Shanghai opens down 0.6%

Asia stocks trim gains as Shanghai opens down 0.6%

The Chinese market opened in negative territory Friday, while other Asia markets trimmed some of their early gains in the wake of a rebound on Wall Street.

The Shanghai composite fell 0.65 per cent and the Shenzhen composite slid 0.76 per cent at market open.

Before market open, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan mid-point fix at 6.5637, compared to Thursday's fix of 6.5616.

Australian markets rebounded, with the ASX 200 up 0.42 per cent, retracing an earlier rise of as much as 1.69 per cent, buoyed by gains in the energy and materials sectors.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 initially recovered more than half of its losses in the previous session by trading up 1.77 per cent at market open before trimming gains to trade 0.68 per cent up. On Thursday, the Nikkei closed 2.68 per cent lower. South Korea's Kospi was up 0.29 per cent.

But some analysts are sceptical that a positive open will last the full session.

In his morning note, Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, wrote that all bets will be off once the Chinese markets come online.

"The big unknown today is whether we have seen a sustainable bounce in Chinese equities and whether yesterday's gains can be held onto," he said.

"Some sense of stability does seem to have been wrestled into the Chinese yuan this week, but the Chinese equity markets have been more immune to muscular shows of state intervention."

Oil slips again in Asian trade

Oil prices slipped again during Asian trading hours after futures saw slight gains in overnight trade.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 1.06 per cent at $30.87 a barrel, after closing up at $31.20 in the US The globally traded Brent was down 0.16 per cent at $30.84 a barrel, following its overnight finish of $31 a barrel. Threats from the global supply glut continue to loom overhead.

Energy plays across the region traded mixed, with shares of Santos up 1.75 per cent, Woodside Petroleum up 1.56 per cent, Inpex gaining 2.29 per cent and Japan Petroleum 0.71 per cent higher. Sharp up 11 per cent as Hon Hai raises investment cap

Electronics maker Sharp saw its shares climb 11.01 per cent after the Yomiuri daily, reported that Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry will offer to invest 700 billion yen ($5.9 billion) in the company, raising the cap from 500 billion yen offered previously.

Major Japanese exporters pared early gains to trade mixed, between down 0.71 per cent and up 1.24 per cent. The dollar-yen pair went up 0.08 per cent to 118.12.

Resources producers in Australia were among the early risers, with shares of Rio Tinto up 2.50 per cent, BHP Billiton rising 3.29 per cent and Fortescue adding 2.63 per cent. Other miners mostly traded in the green, except for gold stocks, which retraced some of their recent gains. Alacer Gold shed 5.4 per cent and Newcrest lost 2.07 per cent.

Financials also saw a boost with Australia's so-called Big Four banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NAB and Westpac - trading between 0.16 and 0.66 per cent higher.

South Korea's SK Hynix erased gains to trade down 1.25 per cent. After market open, its shares were up as much as 0.72 per cent after the memory chip maker announced yesterday it planned at least 6 trillion won ($5 billion) in capital expenditure in 2016 to add capacity and improve production technology, according to reports. Overnight in the US

Stateside, major indexes closed higher, with the S&P 500 up 31.55 points, or 1.67 per cent, at 1,921.83.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 227.64 points, or 1.41 per cent, at 16,379.05, while the Nasdaq composite closed higher by 88.94 points, or 1.97 per cent, at 4,615.00.

On the data front, China's December foreign direct investment is due, as well as trade numbers for Indonesia.

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