Markets

Asian Markets Mixed, Japan Down On Yen; Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan On Holiday

Asian markets turned in a mixed start of the trading week, with Japan closing down Monday on a stronger yen, while Singapore gained a bit on property stocks. The Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets were closed on holiday.

The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.25%, as traders retreated from a resilient yen, and generally tepid economic prospects. On Friday the Japan Center for Economic Research reported Japanese GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.4% in real terms in February, compared with the previous month. An additional release from the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey indicated businesses think Japan prices will rise only 0.8% in the next year, a sentiment not consistent with robust economic growth.

The broad measure Nikkei 225 fell 40.89 to 16,123.27, but gaining issues outnumbered losers 111 to 105, setting up a mixed day.

Leading the upside on a choppy day were seafood enterprises Nippon Suisan Kaisha (NISUF, 1332:Tokyo), up 6.12%; followed by Maruha Nichero (1333:Tokyo), up 5.47%; and then electronics-shop Sharp (SHCAY, 6753:Tokyo), up 4.00%.

On the downside were Mazda Motor (MZDAF, 7261:Tokyo), off 5.59% and hurt by the strong yen, and then J . Front Retailing (JFROF, 3086:Tokyo, off 4.36%.

The Singapore Straits Times index gained 0.60% on the strength of property stocks, and possibly a sense the nation's stock market, which trades near book value, is underpriced on regional gloom, said analysts.

In Mumbai, the Sensex gained 0.31% ahead of a central bank Reserve Bank of India meeting, and hopes for monetary stimulus.

On other exchanges, the S.Korean Kospi gained 0.27%; the Australian S&P ASX/200 traded flat; an the Thai Set also traded traded flat.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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