Asian markets mixed, Tokyo sees rebound


HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday, with weak US data weighing on buying sentiment while Tokyo enjoyed a bounce after the previous day’s tumble.

Buying picked up over the course of the day after early selling fuelled by the downbeat US figures, which had pushed the dollar lower against the yen.

Tokyo ended up 2.05 percent, or 271.94 points, at 13,533.76 as the dollar moved back above 100 yen after falling below the key level on Monday.

Seoul was almost unchanged, edging down 0.06 points to close at 1,989.51 and Sydney was up 0.26 percent, or 12.5 points, at 4,900.8.

Hong Kong was flat, edging up 3.33 points to 22,285.52 while in Shanghai shares fell 1.17 percent, or 26.83 points to 2,272.42 after an HSBC survey showed manufacturing activity in the world’s number two economy shrank in May.

In Washington the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index (PMI) on US manufacturing slumped into negative territory in May, for the first time since November.

Also, the Commerce Department said construction spending in April rose 0.4 percent, less than half of the increase expected.

The news put pressure on the dollar, but the US unit enjoyed a rally Tuesday as dealers await the release of US indicators and a speech by Japan’s prime minister.

The dollar was trading at 100.28 yen in afternoon trade, against 99.52 yen in New York late Monday.

Japanese investors cheered the news and sent the Nikkei, which has lost 15 percent in the past 10 days, rallying.

The euro bought $1.3073 and 131.13 yen compared with $1.3076 and 130.13 yen in US trade.

On Wall Street the Dow jumped 0.92 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.59 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.27 percent.

Dealers will be keeping tabs on the US later this week, with the release of non-farm payroll data, which will give a better idea of the state of the economy.

The European Central Bank, which cut interest rates last month in an attempt to stimulate the eurozone economy, will also hold a policy meeting later in the week.

On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, dropped 57 cents to $92.88 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July shed 46 cents to $101.60.

Gold was at $1,404.33 by 0820 GMT from $1,394.80 late Monday.


In other markets:

— Taipei fell 0.12 percent, or 9.8 points, to 8,191.22.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company rose 1.4 percent to Tw$109.0 while smartphone maker HTC fell 1.03 percent to Tw$287.5.

— Manila skidded 1.33 percent, or 89.91 points, to 6,673.47.

— Wellington lost 0.83 percent, or 37.57 points, to end at 4,473.78.

Telecom was down 1.73 percent at NZ$2.27 while Fletcher Building added 0.60 percent to NZ$8.42.


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