Asian Indices Down as Stronger Yen and Profit Taking Halts Nikkei 225

on Nov 29, 2016

In Tokyo the **Nikkei 225** opened down on Tuesday and finished the day having slid to a 0.27% loss. A pullback for US equities on Monday, a stronger yen and a degree of profit taking appeared to be the main influences dragging the Nikkei back today. Relatively low trade volumes were also a feature, presumably as markets await the outcome of this week’s OPEC meeting and whether there will be agreement on an output cap.

The insurance sector saw a drop as traders locked in profits on recent gains but the biggest fallers on Tuesday were exporters, industrials and engineering companies. Fast Retailing Co., a holding company that owns several retail fashion brands and chains, including Uniqlo, was the biggest faller, down 2.57%. Toilet maker Toto was next, suffering a 2.21% drop, and steel company JFE Holdings completed the bottom 3 with a 1.86% fall. Mitsubishi Electric suffered a pullback after a series of several positive days and was down 1.8%, with Suzuki down 1.7%.

Electronics maker Furukawa Electric was the day’s biggest gainer, up 3.86%, followed by Panasonic with a 3.04% gain.
Over in Hong Kong, the **Hang Seng** dropped 0.41%, following three straight days of gains. The day’s biggest faller was China Shenhua Energy Co., which dropped 2.75%, with energy shares generally weighing on the index. CNOOC was down 0.9%. After being amongst yesterday’s biggest winners, rice cake manufacturer Want Want China was the day’s second biggest faller, down 1.74%. Banks and insurance companies also had a shaky day with HSBC losing 1.46%, Bank of Communications down 0.83%, CITIC 0.82%, Bank of East Asia 0.46% and Ping An Insurance 0.81%.

Sanitary napkins and diapers company Hengan International was up 4.65%, extending its recent good run as the day’s biggest winner. Energy producer CLP Holdings was next, with a 1.67% gain.
In Australia, the **ASX 200** was also down but by a relatively modest 0.13%. The gold, metals and mining sector was a drag on the index today while telecoms also didn’t fare well. Internet provider Vocus Communications was the day’s biggest casualty, down a whopping 27.26%. Investors took fright after the company announced a downbeat earnings guidance, with recent acquisitions such as fibre telecom network Nexten set to contribute less revenue to the group than markets had expected. Syrah Resources was down 7.95%, with another telecom, TPG Telecom, in third bottom place with a 7.15% loss.
Today’s ASX winners were packaging manufacturer Pact Group, up 5.52% and Isentia Group which gained 5.14%. Isentia had recently suffered a sharp sell-off.
In Singapore the **STI** is currently up 0.16%.

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