Asian Shares Mixed Ahead Of G7 Summit

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(RTTNews.com) - Asian stocks ended on a mixed note Tuesday as weak commodity prices pulled down resource stocks and investors waited for cues from the G-7 summit in Canada later this week as well the June 12 summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Gold held steady after three sessions of declines and the dollar held near two-week high against the yen while oil edged higher after falling nearly 2 percent in the previous session on concerns over growing U.S. production and expectations of higher OPEC supplies.

Chinese shares rose after data showed activity in China's services sector expanded at a steady pace in May. The Caixin Services PMI stood at 52.9 in the month, matching expectations and unchanged from the previous month. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index gained 23.01 points or 0.74 percent to end at 3,114.21.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 95.47 points or 0.31 percent to 31,093.45 despite the Nikkei PMI score for the private sector coming in at 47.8 in May, down from 49.1 in April.

Japanese shares eked out modest gains as the yen edged lower against the dollar and data on services sector activity and household spending painted a mixed picture of the economy. The Nikkei average inched up 63.60 points or 0.28 percent to 22,539.54 while the broader Topix index finished marginally higher at 1,774.96.

Tech shares followed their U.S. peers higher, with Tokyo Electron and Advantest ending up more than 1 percent each. Japan Communications soared 7.3 percent after Japan's financial watchdog said it would support a fintech experiment project by a consortium including the company.

Sharp Corp lost 4.1 percent on reports that it is in talks to finalize a deal to buy Toshiba Corp's personal computer business for around 5 billion yen.

Australian shares closed lower as iron ore and oil prices fell and the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at the historic low of 1.5 percent for the 20th consecutive meeting, citing sluggish wage growth and tepid inflation.

Meanwhile, the services sector in Australia continued to expand in May and at an accelerated pace, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed with a Performance of Service Index score of 59.0, up from 55.2 in April.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 30.60 points or 0.51 percent to 5,994.90 while the All Ordinaries index ended down 30.10 points or 0.49 percent at 6,108.50. Commonwealth Bank rose 1 percent to extend Monday's gains after settling a civil lawsuit. The other three banks fell between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent.

The overnight fall in oil prices weighed on the energy sector, with Oil Search, Santos and Origin Energy losing 1-2 percent. Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group dropped more than 1 percent each.

Seoul stocks closed higher, led by construction and casinos on hopes that a U.S.-North Korea summit next week may offer new opportunities. The benchmark Kospi inched up 6 points or 0.25 percent to 2,453.76. Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Grand Korea Leisure jumped 5-7 percent.

In economic news, South Korea posted a current account surplus of $1.77 billion in April, the Bank of Korea said - down from the $5.18 billion surplus in March. The goods account surplus narrowed to $10.36 billion, compared to $11.54 billion a year earlier.

New Zealand shares rallied to hit a three-week high amid broad-based gains. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index jumped 120.88 points or 1.40 percent to finish at 8,757.04. A2 Milk shares soared 5.3 percent after Blackrock became a substantial shareholder in the dairy producer.

Singapore's Straits Times index was moving up 0.4 percent. The private sector in Singapore continued to expand in May, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Nikkei showed with a PMI score of 56.8, up from 55.6 in April.

Malaysia's KLSE Composite index was down 0.2 percent even as a government report showed the country's foreign trade surplus increased notably in April from a year ago.

Indonesia'sJakarta index was climbing 1 percent and the Taiwan Weighed closed on a flat note, while India's Sensex was down about 0.3 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose despite lingering trade worries and data showing a bigger-than-expected pullback in factory orders for April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 added half a percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7 percent to reach a fresh record closing high, led by shares of Apple and Amazon.

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This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , US Markets , Stocks

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