East Asia Market Report – Jan. 10, 2019

Investors’ hopes that just concluded talks between China and the United States would end the trade impasse were overshadowed by the ongoing government shutdown in Washington.  U.S. futures (S&P 500 Futures -0.56%, Nasdaq 100 Futures -0.63%) dipped Wednesday with East Asia markets mostly following suit.

By the close of trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 263.26 points to rest at 20,163.80 (-1.29%).  Cosmetic/health product manufacturer Kao Corp saw the index’s biggest stock drop, losing 425.0 to finish the day with a per share value of ¥7,373.0 (-5.45%).  Food producer Kikkoman also lost ground, down 290.0 for a closing mark of ¥5,720.0 (-4.83%)Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding topped the gainers, up 33.0 for a final posting of ¥1,155.0 (+2.94%).

Korea’s KOSPI finished with a slight loss of 7.23 points, closing at 2,063.28 (-0.07%).  Taiwan’s TAIEX (-0.18%) and TWSE Taiwan 50 (-0.10%) also dipped as did Vietnam’s  HNX (-0.34%).  The Ho Chi Minh Stock Index saw a consecutive day of gains, up 1.31 for a closing mark of 898.30 (+0.15%).

Mainland China’s leading indexes could not maintain yesterday’s gains.  Shanghai’s SE Composite (SHCOMP) dropped 9.25 to close at 2,535.10 (-0.36%).  In Shenzhen, the SZSE Component also fell, down 19.32 for a final mark of 7,428.61 (-0.26%).  The China A50 did manage slight win, building on yesterday’s gains to close at 10,599.65 (+5.20/+0.05%).

The Hang Seng bucked the trend, gaining 59.11 for a closing total of 26,521.43 (+0.22%).  This was the benchmark index’s 5th consecutive session closing ahead.

The Hong Kong index was buoyed by strong performances in the Pharma sector, with Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd (+11.61%) and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd (+7.57%) leading all stocks.  Energy utility company Power Assets saw a stock value drop of 1.15, lowering its per share value to HK$54.40 (-2.07%) and finishing as the Hang Seng’s worst performer.

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