Japan, Tokyo (BBN) – Asian shares were warily mixed on Monday, as geopolitical risks in Asia heighten after North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles.
North Korea fired multiple missiles off its east coast, which flew about 1,000 km (620 miles), South Korea’s military said, while Japan said three missiles landed inside its exclusive economic zone and that it would not tolerate the hermit state’s provocative actions, reports CNBC.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.46 per cent, while the Kospi recovered from earlier losses to trade up 0.14 per cent.
Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.24 per cent, after January retail sales increased by 0.4 per cent from the previous month which were inline with expectations from a Reuters poll.
Chinese stocks were resiliently higher, with Shanghai composite up 0.37 per cent and Shenzhen composite added 0.85 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.37 per cent.
At the weekend, Premier Li Keqiang sounded a cautious note at the annual meeting of parliament that began Sunday, and said that China would expand its economy by around 6.5 per cent, compared to the growth target of 6.5 to 7 per cent set last year.
Other notable targets from Li’s speech include China aiming for an annual consumer price index (CPI) of around 3 per cent, and an annual budget deficit of 3 per cent of gross domestic product, and 2017 M2 growth of about 12 per cent.
The annual National People’s Congress (NPC) will also kick off today and last until March 15.
“Stability is the main objective this year [which] is not surprising given the key 19th Party Plenum in Oct/Nov where the CPC will name a new set of leaders,” said Nizam Idris, Gareth Berry, and Teresa Lam, strategists at Macquarie Bank, in a Monday note.
In other news, South Korea’s trade minister said that the government would strengthen its response to China’s recent discrimination towards South Korea companies.
Local South Korean media reported that Beijing ordered local travel agencies in the capital to stop selling the China-Korea route trip packages both online and offline.
During Asian trade, Brent crude futures slipped 0.38 percent to $55.69 a barrel and US crude fell 0.41 percent to $53.10.
This comes after a surge of more than 1 percent for both crude futures last Friday on the softer dollar.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo told reporters ahead of CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that OPEC will decide in May whether to extend its production deal with non-OPEC members.
Barkindo added that a monitoring committee will meet on March 25.
Markets stateside posted weekly gains last Friday, after Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen emphasized the possibility of a rate hike this month.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose just 0.01 percent to 21,005.71, the S&P 500 index lifted 0.05 percent to 2,383.12 while the Nasdaq composite finished up 0.16 percent to 5,870.75.
Expectations for a Fed rate increase in March are up at 79.7 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, but there remains the risk of a poor nonfarm payrolls report due this Friday.
In other news, Deutsche Bank plans to raise capital and list its asset management business and overhaul its business structure after spending two years dealing with past scandals and massive losses, Reuters reported.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was trading at 101.44 after falling from the 102 handle last week on Yellen’s rate rise comments.
The yen strengthened against to greenback to 113.84, earlier above 114, as the Australian dollar tracked $0.7576.