Asian stocks which were mostly flat or down last week as the US dollar hit a one and a half month high against the Japanese yen recovered on Monday after South Korea’s president were officially impeached and a strong US jobs report help drive gains on Wall Street. Despite most Asian stocks recording gains on Monday, Energy stocks in the region remain under pressure after oil prices declined below $48 for the first time this year after concerns continue to rise to whether the planned oil cuts are taking place.
Shares in Tokyo
On Monday, Asian equities rallied as the greenback inched lower on a strong U.S. jobs data sending investors to move to assets in the region. This week, investors are also awaiting central bank policy decisions from Japan to the U.S.
Although Asian shares rose at the beginning of the week, the oil recorded a decline for the sixth day in a row. Among the biggest risers included shares in Tokyo extending the biggest rally in the past month with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.15% to hit a new 52-week high.
The biggest gainers under the Nikkei were Pioneer Corp which rallied 4.72%, 11 points to closing at 244 while Toshiba rose 6.8 points or 3.27% at 214.8 during the closing.
The dollar also traded 0.2% lower against the yen from recording a seven-week high last week to 115.51 following comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that Japan will be on top if the US priority list for trade agreements. The USD/JPY pair was down by 0.10% on Monday while the EUR/JPY rallied by 0.18% to 122.72.
Among the losers under the Nikkei included SUMCO Corp who lost 2.19% to 1649, down by 37 points while Nisshin Steel Holdings Co. shed 2.41% to 1578.0 losing 39 points.
South Korea Officially Impeaches President
Although Asian markets were just starting to recover last Friday, the market was mostly positive by that time as South Korea’s corruption scandal inclined president Park Geun-
The announcement of the impeachment sent the Korean Won up by 0.2% against the US dollar. Treasuries, meanwhile, remained under pressure in anticipation of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next week.
The Hang Seng index rose up by 0.1% as Wharf Holdings-owned I-Cable Communications plummeted by as much as 46% as the company announced that they are canceling the plan to sell the network who has failed to make considerable profits.
South Korea’s Kospi inched 1.1% higher to 2,119.48 while the Shanghai Composite Index lost around 0.1%.