Tokyo, Japan (BBN) – Most Asian markets closed higher on Tuesday, after stateside indexes recorded their second day of gains following last week’s losses.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225, however, reversed early gains to closed down 0.65 percent, or 137.94 points, at 21,244.68 as markets resumed trade following a long weekend, reports CNBC.com.
The decline in the index came as the dollar slipped further against the Japanese yen, and was at odds with bounces seen in other regional markets following the recent sell-off in stocks.
Automakers finished the session mixed, with Toyota sliding 2.53 percent. Financials, which were in positive territory in the early going, gave up gains to trade lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shedding 1.46 percent by the end of the day.
Other blue chips also saw early gains erased: Fanuc Manufacturing ended the day lower by 0.69 percent and Fast Retailing closed down 1.11 percent.
Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi advanced 0.41 percent to finish the day at 2,395.19. Gains were driven by strong showings from tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which surged 3.98 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
Automakers came under pressure: Hyundai Motor lost 0.97 percent while Kia Motors slid 2.28 percent by the end of the day. Manufacturing names were also downbeat. Steelmaker Posco declined 1.24 percent and Hyundai Steel shed 0.76 percent. LG Chem lost early gains to slide 2.02 percent on the day.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 closed higher by 0.6 percent at 5855.9 as earnings season rolled on. The materials and gold sectors was among the best-performers on the day, while the heavily-weighted financials sector edged higher by 0.45 percent.
Meanwhile, National Australia Bank’s business conditions index rose in January, indicating strong business activity in the country. The index stood at +19 index points for the month, above the long-run average of +5 index points, NAB said.
Greater China markets were also buoyant. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.54 percent by 3:14 p.m. HK/SIN as markets clawed back gains after falling into correction territory last week. Tech shares were were mixed, but index heavyweight Tencent extended gains, climbing 2.54 percent and contributing 72 points to the index’s 381.53-point rise ahead of the market close.
Financials traded firmly in positive territory: HSBC gained 0.69 percent and China Construction Bank advanced 1.43 percent by 3:04 p.m. HK/SIN. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing was up 2.64 percent after the appointment of two new board members.
Property developers were also in the money, with China Evergrande Group up 3.29 percent by 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN. HNA Group unit Hong Kong International Construction Investment Group traded higher by 8.53 percent ahead of the close after it said it would sell two plots of land to Henderson Land Development for almost 16 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.05 billion). Henderson shares were up 1.02 percent by 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN.
Trading volumes were lighter than usual, with southbound trading on the stock connect closed, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
On the mainland, the Shanghai composite tacked on 1 percent to close at 3,185.6 and the Shenzhen composite gained 0.41 percent to end at 1,730.83. The blue chip CSI 300 index finished the day higher by 1.19 percent.
Indian markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.
U.S. markets on Monday continued their rebound from what was their worst week in two years, with major stock indexes recording gains of more than 1 percent. Last week’s sell-off, initially triggered by concerns over rising interest rates, saw the Dow and S&P 500 lose 5.2 percent on the week.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note touched a fresh four-year high in the last session. The 10-year Treasury yield stood at 2.85 percent after rising as high as 2.9 percent overnight.
Investors also digested the release of the Trump administration’s $200 billion infrastructure plan.
Honda Motor will recall around 350,000 cars in China due to an engine-related problem, Reuters reported. No accidents had been tied to the issue, Reuters said, citing Honda representatives. Honda shares closed down 1.71 percent.
Fujifilm Holdings finished the session down 3.23 percent. On Tuesday, Xerox shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason criticized a deal which would see Xerox sold to Fujifilm.
Meanwhile, China’s Fosun is poised to buy a majority stake in French fashion house Lanvin, Reuters said, citing sources. Fosun shares were up 1.62 percent by 3:07 p.m. HK/SIN.
Elsewhere, shares of CapitaLand were up 2.02 percent by 2:47 p.m. HK/SIN after the developer announced Tuesday its post-tax profit for 2017 rose 30.3 percent to 1.55 billion Singapore dollars ($1.17 billion). Fourth-quarter post-tax profit declined 37.8 percent to S$267.7 million ($202.1 million).
In currencies, the greenback extended losses after paring some of last week’s gains overnight as U.S. stocks rebounded. The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of peers, slipped to trade at 89.898 by 2:45 p.m. HK/SIN.
Against the yen, the dollar pulled back to trade at 108.14, extending losses seen in the last session.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he was not yet decided on who would be the next governor of the Bank of Japan, Reuters reported. Finance minister Taro Aso said that the individual would have to be fluent in English. Media reports last week indicated current governor Haruhiko Kuroda would be re-appointed when his term ends in April, the news agency said, citing a source.
Meanwhile, the euro firmed to trade at $1.2320.
Oil prices edged up after finishing the previous session little changed. Brent crude futures added 0.62 percent to trade at $62.98 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate tacked on 0.57 percent at trade $59.63.