Asian-Pacific market update

Thursday, 18. February 2016 09:10

The market day in Asia-Pacific region was marked by the economic data and earnings reports. While Japan and China each battled the news on the lower imports and exports, earnings season brought some good trading in New Zealand and Australia.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index closed moderately up 0.4% to 6,111 points. Shares in New Zealand enjoyed mostly gains, as companies in various sectors reported good earnings results, such as chemicals company Nuplex, industry Steel & Tube, and auction Trade Me Groups. The New Zealand dollar strengthened against the Australian counterpart on the employment data Down Under.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 index jumped up 2.3% to close at 4,992 points, marking the day of biggest gains since the 2016 started, led by the energy stocks rise following a bounce in oil prices. They were followed by mining sector, where BHP Billiton rose 6.1%, while telecom giant Telstra added 0.6% on good profits report and promise of delivering more new technologies and content.

Breaking the nice picture were economic data. Unemployment rate has risen to 6% in January, defeating the six-month trend of steady fall from nearly 6.4% in July 2015, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics published on Thursday. Full-time employment was falling, while there were more part-time jobs in January, and the number of working hours increased.

The seasonally adjusted data show that the employment increased and unemployment decreased in January, and the unemployment rate decreased less than 0.1 points to 5.8%, based on unrounded estimates. The unemployment was highest in South Australia and Northern Territory.

In South Korea, the Kospi index added 1.32%, while the Kosdaq rose 2.40%, with giants like Samsung spreading investments across the economy, while keeping up with innovation such as new VR device. Korean Telecom plans to reveal its 5G technology at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 to be held in Barcelona, Spain, February 22- 25.

In Taipei, the Taiex index closed up 1.22%, as the local dollar strengthened against the U.S. greenback, despite the fact that government late on Wednesday cut its 2016 growth forecast for the island's gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.32% to 1.47%, citing a sluggish global economy.

Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 1.96%, despite some news that the local Yahoo! Singapore branch has decided to cut 300 jobs by mid-April.

The Mumbai's S&P BSE index was in the green territory in midday trade.

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Author:
Breaking the News / ZR