Tech Drops Drag on Hang Seng; Yen Dip Boosts Nikkei


Asia’s major stock indexes saw a mixed start to the week ahead of a raft of big bank meetings and the release of key US data, amid growing fears over China’s stumbling post-Covid recovery.

The next few days will see a quintet of rich world central bank summits and US inflation figures that could make or break market hopes for an early and rapid-fire round of rate cuts next year.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rebounded from a one-month low touched last week, after the yen pulled back from a four-month peak and Wall Street rallied on rising bets of a soft landing for the US economy.


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The Nikkei finished the day 1.50% higher at 32,791.80, following a broad rally that saw 196 of the benchmark’s 225 components rise versus 25 decliners and four that were flat. The broader Topix rose 1.47%.

Monday’s gains in the Nikkei came after the worst weekly performance since mid-September, which included a 3.4% slide over Thursday and Friday as the yen strengthened, cutting the value of exporters’ overseas sales.

US stocks, and particularly high tech shares, had rallied on Friday after robust monthly jobs data bolstered speculation the economy would avoid a recession.

Energy shares outperformed following a rebound in crude oil prices, with a Tokyo Stock Exchange sub-index of the stocks gaining 3.22%.

China stocks advanced, despite the blue-chip benchmark touching a nearly five-year low earlier in the day after data showed the consumer prices in the world’s second-largest economy fell the fastest in three years in November while factory-gate deflation deepened.

The blue-chip CSI 300 Index gained 0.59% and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.74%, or 21.88 points, to end at 2,991.44. The Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange gained 0.95%, or 17.58 points, to 1,865.36.

Hong Kong-listed tech giants plunged 2.6% and mainland developers listed in the city were down 3%. The Hang Seng Index edged back 0.81%, or 132.88 points, to 16,201.49, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.17%.

Elsewhere across the region, in earlier trade, Sydney, Seoul, Taipei and Mumbai were ahead but Singapore, Wellington, Manila and Jakarta were in retreat. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.65%.


Bank of Japan Easing Bets

Eurostoxx 50 futures and FTSE futures were little changed. S&P 500 futures were flat, while Nasdaq futures edged down 0.2%.

The Treasury market faces a test in the shape of $108 billion in new supply of three-year, 10-year and 30-year paper. Yields on 10-year notes were steady at 4.24% having risen on Friday in the wake of the jobs report, though they still ended flat on the week.

In currency markets all eyes were on the yen after some wild swings as speculation swirled the Bank of Japan could signal another step away from its super easy policy at a meeting next week. 

The dollar did manage to nudge up on Monday to reach 145.56 yen, having lost 1.3% last week and briefly touching a low of 141.60.

In commodity markets, gold took a knock after the jobs report and was last down at $1,998 an ounce.

Oil prices edged higher, after sliding 3.9% last week to five-month lows amid doubts that all OPEC+ members would stick with supply cuts. Prices got some support when Washington announced it would rebuild its strategic oil reserves.

The market will also be watching the outcome of the COP28 climate summit, which is working on a first-of-its-kind deal to phase out the world’s use of fossil fuels.

Brent was up 53 cents at $76.37 a barrel, while US crude added 47 cents to $71.70.


Key figures

Tokyo – Nikkei 225 > UP 1.50% at 32,791.80 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index < DOWN 0.81% at 16,201.49 (close)

Shanghai – Composite > UP 0.74% at 2,991.44 (close)

London – FTSE 100 < DOWN 0.32% at 7,530.40 (0936 GMT)

New York – Dow > UP 0.36% at 36,247.87 (Friday close)


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Also on AF:

China Consumer Prices Fall Fastest in 3 Years, Alarming Beijing

China Developer Shimao’s Shares Slide on Debt Revamp Plan

Chinese Investment in Vietnam Doubles, As US Trade Eases

Nikkei Dives on BoJ Bets, Surging Yen; Hang Seng, China Flat



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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