Wednesday, 02 May 2018 03:00

Asian markets quiet, awaiting upcoming economic data

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Asia-Pacific stock moves were muted in early trading Wednesday, after most overseas benchmarks saw little change the previous day.

Most markets in the region were closed Tuesday for the Labor Day holiday, and Japan will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Investors on Wednesday are awaiting cues from U.S.-China trade negotiations, along with the release of both a raft of April manufacturing data from Asia and the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement. It isn’t expected to include another rate hike — that’s expected at June’s meeting.

Singapore stocks continued to be strong, with the Straits Times Index STI, +0.09%[1]   climbing 0.6% as equities there are supported by upbeat earnings news. The city-state’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. D05, -0.03%[2]  , climbed a further 1.1% Wednesday to move deeper into record territory following Monday’s first-quarter report. The index is at levels last seen in late 2007, when it set a record high of 5%.

But most benchmarks in the region, including Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.32%[3]   and South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.37%[4]  , were within 0.3% of their latest closing level.

Notable individual movers include Samsung BioLogics 207940, -12.70%[5]  , which tumbled as much as 20% after South Korea’s financial watchdog accused the company of accounting-rules violations. It denies the allegation.

Some Apple AAPL, +2.32%[6]   suppliers in Asia also rallied following the company’s second-quarter report, which sent the stock up 3.7% in U.S. after-hours trading. Japanese sensor maker Alps Electric 6770, +2.84%[7]   climbed 4.5%, and smartphone-lens maker Largan 3008, +6.03%[8]   jumped 5% in Taiwan.

A strengthening U.S. dollar should generally buoy Asian equities — with their valuation making them look more attractive...

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