Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

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Asian Shares Mostly Higher In Cautious Trade

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Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Thursday even as caution prevailed following the tech-led rebound on Wall Street. Investors now look ahead to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision due later in the day. The ECB is unlikely to announce any big changes to its policy, but might well indicate it is prepared to loosen policy if required.

Shares in China and Hong Kong declined, as investors remained cautious despite the rebound on Wall Street.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 19.80 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 3,234.82, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 155.39 or 0.6 percent to finish at 24,313.54. Yum China Holdings fell 4 percent on its debut in Hong Kong.

Japanese shares rallied, while the safe-haven yen weakened against the dollar. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index gained 202.93 points or 0.9 percent to close at 23,235.47, while the broader Topix added 19.46 points, or 1.2 percent, to finish at 1,624.86.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group ended a five-day losing streak to gain 2.2 percent, while Sony added 1.7 percent.

The Australian market also closed higher, with tech and mining stocks among the leading gainers. News that Victoria’s daily coronavirus infection figures dropped on Thursday after rising over the previous two days boosted sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index added 29.90 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 5,908.50 and the broader All Ordinaries advanced 31.10 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 6,090.00.

In the tech space, Appen rose 3.2 percent, Afterpay advanced 2.1 percent and WiseTech Global added 0.4 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto advanced 1.4 percent and BHP Group added 0.5 percent, while Fortescue Metals declined 0.6 percent.

Myer Holdings reported a net loss for the full year, while its sales dropped more than 15 percent and the department store group said it will not pay a final dividend to shareholders. The company’s shares tumbled 17.7 percent.

Seoul stocks pared some early gains, but still closed higher. The benchmark Kospi advanced 20.67 points or 0.9 percent to finish at 2,396.48.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.4 percent, while chipmaker SK Hynix dropped 0.9 percent. Kakao Games Corp., the gaming subsidiary of messaging app operator Kakao Corp., made a strong debut in Seoul with its stock hitting the daily permissible limit of 30 percent.

New Zealand shares also advanced following the gains on Wall Street. The benchmark NZX 50 Index added 72.67 points, or 0.6 percent, to finish at 11,811.78.

Medical cannabis company Cannasouth climbed 5.2 percent and power company Mercury NZ gained 4.8 percent, while Meridian Energy advanced 1.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian market tumbled 5 percent following an announcement that partial lockdown measures will be reintroduced in the capital city Jakarta to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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2020-09-10 04:34:24

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