Sun, Aug 16, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Asian shares hit by currencies, oil

AFP, HONG KONG

Asian markets mainly fell on Friday, weighed down by jitters over the impact of China’s yuan devaluation and a fall in oil dragged down energy stocks, while Shanghai rose on hopes for more market intervention.

The US dollar dipped after advancing on solid US retail figures, which fueled expectations the US Federal Reserve will raise rates soon, while the euro fell on weak EU growth data.

The TAIEX closed flat, losing 6.1 points to 8,305.64. Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) rose 2.76 percent to NT$52.1, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) gained 1.49 percent to NT$88.7.

Tokyo ended down 0.37 percent, or 76.1 points, at 20,519.45 and Sydney lost 0.58 percent, or 31.37 points, to 5,356.50. Seoul’s financial markets were closed for a public holiday. Hong Kong fell 0.13 percent, or 27.77 points, to end the day at 23,991.03.

Asian shares fluctuated throughout the day as investors weighed the impact of a surprise devaluation of the yuan by China this week that has roiled global financial markets.

“The yuan devaluation and prospects of an impending rate increase by the Fed have created a very volatile market environment,” Manila-based BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas told Bloomberg News. “That’s made many investors risk adverse.”

However, Shanghai bucked the trend with a rise of 0.27 percent, capping its biggest weekly increase in two months, as investors hoped the surprise devaluation of the yuan heralded more economic support from Beijing.

Adding to those hopes, China’s market regulator pledged after the close to stabilize the volatile stock market for a “number of years” and vowed a longer-term role for state-backed company tasked with buying shares.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.27 percent, or 10.78 points to 3,965.34, a 5.91 percent rise over the week and its biggest weekly gain in two months.

Energy shares took a hit on Friday, leading the slump in Asia as oil prices slid close to their low point for the year on signs a global glut of supplies will last into next year.

“It’s concerning that we can’t really see the bottom of oil prices,” Tokyo-based Mizuho Trust & Banking Co senior strategist Hitoshi Asaoka told Bloomberg News.

Elsewhere, Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) fell 5.84 percent to HK$7.25 after Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券) and Macquarie Research Equities downgraded their ratings.

In other markets on Friday:

Wellington fell 0.72 percent, or 41.25 points, to 5,696.45.

Mumbai rose 1.88 percent, or 517.78 points, to 28,067.31 points.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top