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Asia: Japan exchanges shrug off optimism over US stats

Anna Kalmykova, Analyst, Global Markets (Finam)

On Tuesday, April 3, primary Asian stock indexes largely traded in positive territory, as investor concerns over the pace of global economic growth eased. The positive reading of China’s manufacturing PMI for March, released over the weekend, was coupled with the faster-than-estimated growth in the US ISM manufacturing index, while a retreat in Japanese equity benchmarks, due to a weakening position of exporters against a firming yen, marginally dampened market sentiment.

Of the regional macro data released, we would like to point out that Australian retail sales picked up 0.2% in February, the same as in the previous month, while a 0.3% upturn had been forecast. Furthermore, the Australian Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.25% in April, as expected. The regional stock indicator MSCI Asia Pacific edged 0.2% higher to close at 127.46.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average slipped 0.59%, the Australian prime stock market indicator S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.18% and the Hong Kong index Hang Seng added 1.31%. Chinese trading floors were closed for a national holiday.

The favorable reading of the US ISM manufacturing index had positive effects on the stock valuations of companies with business reliant on the US market. Specifically, the shares of South Korean electronics supplier Samsung Electronics rose 2.8% and the airline Air China finished 1.9% higher in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong-based developer Sun Hung Kai Properties ended the day 2% higher after stating that its co-owners Thomas and Raymond Kwok would hold a press conference. It will be recalled that last week the two businessmen were taken into custody on corruption charges.

South Korean automotive company Hyundai Motor shot up 6.3% after reporting an 18% upswing in automobile sales in March. Another automotive company, Kia Motors, closed the session 3.4% higher.

Indonesian lender PT Bank Danamon Indonesia bolted up 39.1% on reports that the largest Southeast Asian bank DBS Group Holdings made an offer to take over the Indonesian bank for USD 7.2 bn.

Japanese exporters found themselves on the sidelines as the national currency gained ground against the US dollar. In the upshot, the large-scale Asian automaker Toyota Motor lost 0.3% of its market value and home electronics maker Sony edged 0.6% lower.

Index Country Value Change Change, % YTD, %
S&P/ASX 200 Australia 4,337.04 7.76 0.18 6.91%
All Ordinaries Australia 4,424.41 8.03 0.18 7.62%
Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 445.77 4.74 1.07 26.80%
Hang Seng Hong Kong 20,791.00 268.72 1.31 12.78%
Hang Seng H-shares Hong Kong 10,859.50 200.73 1.88 9.29%
BSE 30 (Sensex) India 17,597.40 119.27 0.68 13.86%
Jakarta Composite Indonesia 4,215.44 49.37 1.19 10.29%
Shanghai A-shares China 2,370.07 11.15 0.47 2.86%
CSI 300 China 2,454.90 11.78 0.48 4.65%
KLSE Composite Malaysia 1,606.63 2.85 0.18 4.96%
NZSE 50 New Zealand 3,473.09 -20.52 -0.59 6.06%
Karachi 100 Pakistan 13,650.50 -12.82 -0.09 20.65%
Straits Times Singapore 3,014.98 -1.09 -0.04 13.93%
Bangkok SET Thailand 853.51 9.64 1.14 18.81%
TAIEX Taiwan 7,760.85 -102.05 -1.3 9.74%
PSEi Philippines 5,056.48 -54.38 -1.06 15.66%
Colombo All-Shares Sri Lanka 5,416.65 17.95 0.33 -10.83%
KOSPI South Korea 2,049.28 19.99 0.99 12.24%
Nikkei 225 Japan 10,050.40 -59.48 -0.59 18.86%
Topix Japan 851.02 -5.03 -0.59 16.80%