Asian markets mostly up after herky-jerky trading

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics

It was a bit of a herky-jerky morning for Asian stocks, colored by currency swings, optimism about the Korean Peninsula and a fresh slump in oil prices. Stock indexes in a number of markets were already swinging between gains and losses, including Japan, Hong Kong and China.

The Nikkei NIK, -0.09%[1]   finished the morning with a 5.52-point drop as the yen weakened and then rebounded. Meanwhile, benchmarks in South Korea SEU, +0.76%[2]   and Taiwan Y9999, +0.46%[3]   were higher throughout the morning.

Airlines and electronics stocks helped the Nikkei start on the right foot; ANA 9202, +2.20%[4]   was 2.2% higher. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electron 8035, +0.21%[5]   rose a further 1.5% and Sony 6758, +2.03%[6]  was up 2% as the dollar USDJPY, +0.04%[7]   climbed to ¥109.70. And as is the norm, falling Treasury yields were hitting Japanese life insurers, with Dai-ichi 8750, -1.02%[8]   off more than 1%.

Korea’s Kospi was up early, even with Samsung 005930, -0.76%[9]   pulling back to start the week as steelmaker Posco 005490, +3.61%[10]   and Korea Electric Power 015760, +3.07%[11]   each rebounded following Friday skids.

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