Asia report: Markets mostly higher as oil prices rise
Markets in Asia finished mostly higher on Monday following a rebound on Wall Street on Friday, as oil prices also advanced slightly.
In Japan, markets were closed for a public holiday, as the yen strengthened 0.11% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 108.68.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.76% at 3,153.56, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite rocketed 2.65% to 1,723.73.
South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.91 at 2,385.38, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 0.16% to 29,459.63.
The hefty technology stocks were up in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics rising 2.28% and SK Hynix adding 1.5%.
Ship building firms were on the back foot, however, with Hyundai Heavy Industries down 0.38% after it missed forecasts on fourth quarter earnings, and Samsung Heavy losing 3.51%.
Oil prices were still rising as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last up 1.6% at $63.81 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate ahead 1.89% at $60.34.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to settle at 5,820.70 as Sydney’s earnings season continued.
The energy subindex lost 0.43% even after oil prices rebounded, with Beach Energy off 2.48% and Santos down 0.41%.
Gold producers were also below the waterline, with Evolution Mining falling 2.15% and Newcrest Mining off 0.54%.
The financials sector slipped 0.52% as an inquiry into Australia’s banking sector began.
Retailers suffered a miserable session, with electronics peddler JB Hi-Fi falling 8% on concerns over profit growth, despite reporting record half-year earnings during the session.
Department store chain Myer was down 5.98%.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 also fell, losing 0.4% to 8,059.06, led lower by outdoor apparel and equipment retailer Kathmandu, which lost 2.1%.
Construction giant Fletcher extended its trading halt to Wednesday, saying it needed further time to review its key projects and discuss covenant breaches with lenders.
The company had been expected to emerge from the halt on Monday morning, and announce larger losses in its building and interiors unit.
Fletcher has a hand in most sectors of construction in New Zealand, from commercial, public and residential projects, to the manufacture, wholesale and retail of supplies.
The down under dollars were mixed, with the Aussie last ahead 0.31% against the greenback to AUD 1.2761 and the Kiwi retreating 0.1% to NZD 1.3799.