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Asia: China breaks into positive territory, Japan closes lower

Natalia Asedova, Analyst, Global Markets (Finam)

On Tuesday, April 10, primary Asian stock markets, some of which were shut for a holiday during the previous several sessions, turned in mixed performances. On the one hand, the Bank of Japan, having left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, also held its asset purchase program steady, which led to the yen appreciation and a pullback in the shares of Japanese exporters. On the other hand, macroeconomic data out of China, which beat average economist estimates, raised concerns that the government could cut off further stimulus for the economy, which adversely affected the shares of Chinese developers.

Trading in Europe was not conducted yesterday, while the US stock market finished the session in negative territory, which further affected market sentiment. It is noteworthy that the BoJ’s key interest rate remained unchanged in the range of 0-0.1%, as did its asset purchase program at JPY 30 trillion (USD 368 bn). In the meantime, China unexpectedly posted a current account surplus of USD 5.35 bn for March, against the projected deficit contraction from USD 31.5 bn to USD 1.3 bn.

Heading into the final bell, the regional stock indicator MSCI Asia Pacific slipped 0.3% to close at 123.82. China’s CSI 300 index climbed 0.99%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average edged 0.09% lower and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 benchmark gave up 0.64%.

As the yen moved up against the dollar, the electronics producer Sony shed 3.5% of its value and Canon retreated 0.8%.

The shares of resource-based companies underperformed the broader market against a slide in oil prices in New York. The shares of BHP Billiton, Woodside Petroleum and Cnooc lost 0.6%, 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively.

Chinese developers also traded down, retreating in Hong Kong trading after the release of positive macro data in China. In particular, China Resources Land dropped 2.1%, Shimao Property Holdings tumbled 2.7% and Country Garden Holdings landed 1.5% lower.

Japan’s large-scale LCD supplier Sharp lost 4.3% intraday on reports that its net loss for the year ended March 31 could increase to JPY 390 bn (USD 4.8 bn).

Japan automakers were on the list of the top gainers after Nomura Holdings analysts raised their outlooks for the sector in general. In the upshot, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor added 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

Index Country      Value     Change     Change, %      YTD, %
S&P/ASX 200 Australia 4292.26 -27.58 -0.64% 5.81%
All Ordinaries Australia 4373.71 -28.63 -0.65% 6.39%
Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 450.85 0.12 0.03% 28.25%
Hang Seng Hong Kong 20356.20 -236.76 -1.15% 10.43%
Hang Seng H-shares Hong Kong 10596.90 -148.00 -1.38% 6.65%
BSE 30 (Sensex) India 17243.80 21.70 0.13% 11.57%
Jakarta Composite Indonesia 4149.80 -4.27 -0.10% 8.58%
Shanghai A-shares China 2415.15 21.05 0.88% 4.82%
CSI 300 China 2519.79 24.64 0.99% 7.42%
KLSE Composite Malaysia 1597.17 5.89 0.37% 4.34%
NZSE 50 New Zealand 3475.10 7.12 0.21% 6.12%
Karachi 100 Pakistan 13923.20 58.56 0.42% 23.06%
Straits Times Singapore 2982.44 22.34 0.75% 12.70%
Bangkok SET Thailand 819.57 -12.17 -1.46% 14.08%
TAIEX Taiwan 7640.68 39.81 0.52% 8.04%
PSEi Philippines 5022.29 -16.63 -0.33% 14.88%
Colombo All-Shares Sri Lanka 5392.34 -20.78 -0.38% -11.23%
KOSPI South Korea 1994.41 -2.67 -0.13% 9.24%
Nikkei 225 Japan 9538.02 -8.24 -0.09% 12.80