Asian shares mixed after positive US, China data

PHOTO: Asian shares mixed after positive US, China data

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mixed Monday following positive economic data from the United States and China as the Communist Party meets to plot the course for the world's second largest economy over the next decade.

Trading sentiment was buoyed by strong US jobs figures and by healthy industrial production figures out of China - further evidence of a steady recovery from a slowdown earlier in the year.

Tokyo was up 1.33 per cent by the break, Hong Kong and Seoul were flat, while Sydney was down 0.18 per cent and Shanghai eased 0.38 per cent.

The stock market in Manila slumped 2.40 per cent as the Philippines reels from super typhoon Haiyan, which smashed into the archipelago on Friday.

Authorities fear more than 10,000 people may have been killed.

On Friday, The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1.08 per cent at a fresh record of 15,761.78, lifted by the employment numbers, which showed the world's biggest economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double what analysts forecast.

The positive figures, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown last month, are another sign of improvement in the world's biggest economy.

Investors are wary that a recovery could encourage the Federal Reserve to decide to reduce its enormous $85 billion ($106 billion) a month asset-purchase programme, which has flooded the international markets with extra cash, by the end of the year.

But SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi said: "Equity sentiment remains generally strong globally - enough so to resist the fear of Fed tapering for now."

China's industrial output grew by 10.3 per cent year-on-year in October, with inflation accelerating slightly to 3.2 per cent - the highest reading since February, weekend figures showed.

China's leaders on Saturday began a meeting in Beijing - known as the Third Plenum - to chart the direction of the economy for the next decade, facing a series of challenges from slowing growth to widespread environmental degradation.

Analysts have played down the prospect of firm measures, since such gatherings tend to unveil general principles rather than concrete policies

"What the market fears the most is uncertainty, and with unknown policy changes afoot, perhaps even including the speeding up of approvals of IPOs, many investors have decided to stay out of the market," Deng Wenyuan, an analyst at Soochow Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In Asian forex trade, the dollar ($1.25) edged up to 99.16 yen from 99.04 yen in New York Friday. The euro was at $1.3357 ($1.67) against $1.3412 ($1.67) and at 132.35 yen compared with 131.65 yen.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery, was up 20 cents to $94.80 ($118.18) in morning Asian trade, while Brent North Sea crude for December rose 59 cents to $105.71 ($131.78).

Gold was down at $1,286.40 ($1603.63) per ounce at 0230 GMT compared with $1,308.89 ($1631.55) on Friday.