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Asian stocks mostly higher after Japan elections; Nikkei down 0.11%

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Shutterstock photo - Most Asian stocks traded higher Monday following the results of this weekend's Japanese elections, but stocks there and in China were among the region's laggards.

In Asian trading Monday, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.11% after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party scored, as expected an easy victory in the weekend's elections that decided control of Japan's upper house of parliament.

Media reports said Abe's LDP and its partner, the New Komeito party, had won at least 74 of the 121 seats up for grabs in the 242-seat upper house, according to Reuters. It marks the first time since 2007 that Japan will operate without a split parliament. Jefferies raised its year-end target on the Nikkei to 15,500, roughly 1,000 points above current levels.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched down 0.02% while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.14% after Chinese policymakers put a floor on lending rates there, but limits on mortgage rates will remain in place in an effort to cool real estate speculation. The Shanghai Composite is off 13% year-to-date, making it one of Asia's worst-performing major indices.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1% after China's central bank said on Friday that it was removing the lower limit on interest rates for banks, in an effort to help lenders attract more borrowers and spur economic activity.

Still, China, the world's second-largest economy, is seeing slowing economic growth and that could factor in the equation for long-term bullishness for the Aussie because China is Australia's largest trading partner.

New Zealand's NZSE added 0.26% while Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 0.59%.

South Korea's Kospi jumped 0.69% even after the won and South Korean bonds gained following the end of the G-20 meeting. Like Australia and New Zealand, South Korea counts China as its largest export market.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.10%. The benchmark U.S. index added 0.16% last Friday to close at another record high. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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.

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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