Japan, China shares climb in thin holiday trade - GulfToday

Japan, China shares climb in thin holiday trade

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The dollar stood at 111.91 yen in Asian trade, slightly slipping from 112.00 yen in New York overnight. File

Tokyo and Shanghai stocks closed higher on Friday but trade lacked direction with several major markets closed for Easter holidays. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.50 per cent, or 110.44 points, to 22,200.56, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.12 per cent, or 1.96 points, to 1,616.93.

The market›s main gainer was Nintendo, which jumped more than 14 per cent on reports its games and popular Switch console will soon be available in China.

Meanwhile, Chinese stocks managed to claw higher despite some early wobbles over concerns that China›s slowing economy could hit soon-to-be-released corporate earnings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.63 per cent, or 20.62 points, to close at 3,270.80.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China›s second exchange, added 0.94 per cent, or 16.51 points, to end the day at 1,778.81.

The Japanese market stayed comfortably in positive territory throughout the day, initially lifted by strong gains in overseas markets.

But a lack of fresh clues and the closure of several major international markets for Easter prompted position adjustment and profit-taking in the afternoon session, said Okasan Online Securities in a commentary.

«After an initial round of buying subsided, (the Nikkei index) became trapped inside a narrow range around 21,200,» Okasan said.

«Only few investors were chasing the higher end of the market since major foreign markets are entering a break through Monday,» it said.

Wall Street shares finished modestly higher Thursday following a batch of mostly solid corporate earnings and a successful market debut of technology company Pinterest.

The dollar stood at 111.91 yen in Asian trade, slightly slipping from 112.00 yen in New York overnight.

Tokyo investors are gradually preparing themselves for a special 10-day holiday from the end of the month for an upcoming imperial succession.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will be closed from Saturday April 27 through Monday, May 6. Trading will resume from Tuesday, May 7.

Among major gainers on Friday, Nintendo jumped 14.12 per cent to 39,200 yen following media reports that its popular Switch game console and game titles will become available in China via tech giant Tencent.

Sony rose 0.60 per cent to 5,331 yen while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing added 2.09 per cent to 64,590. Among individual shares in China, China Life Insurance climbed 4.29 per cent to 31.38 yuan and Ping An Insurance rose 3.20 per cent to 87.00 yuan.

China Merchants Securities closed 3.12 per cent higher at 18.52 yuan and First Capital Securities gained 1.45 per cent to 7.72 yuan.

Telecommunications operator China Unicom put on 4.08 per cent to close at 7.15 yuan and ZTE jumped 7.04 per cent to 36.49 yuan. Meanwhile, most Shanghai base metal prices drifted lower on Friday as traders were away in Europe and parts of Asia for the Good Friday holiday, while the London Metal Exchange was closed until Tuesday. Copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was down 0.5 per cent by the end of the morning but still on course to end the week up 0.6 per cent after positive macro data from top metals consumer China, whose first-quarter GDP growth beat expectations. Nickel, used to make stainless steel, fell the most in the Shanghai base complex, tumbling as much as 1.7 per cent to 98,610 yuan ($14,715.71) a tonne, its lowest since Feb. 19.

The metal is heading for a 2 per cent drop this week, after falling 2.2 per cent last week. The pace of new ferro-nickel capacity coming into the market has increased, Industrial Securities said in a note. «Downstream, stainless steel stocks are higher and demand remains weak. On the whole, nickel prices will continue to be under pressure as macro optimism subsides,» the brokerage added. The most-traded June ShFE copper contract ended the morning on 49,510 yuan ($7,388.45) a tonne. * CHINA: China›s refined copper output came in at 705,000 tonnes in March, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The bureau said the number was up 10.2 per cent year-on-year but it is the lowest monthly total in records on the bureau›s website since June 2016. Chile›s Cochilco state copper commission on Thursday held its estimate for the price of copper at $3.05 per pound, rising to $3.08 for 2020 on improving prospects for growth in China.  However, Yangshan copper premium have fallen to $50.50 a tonne, the lowest since April 2017, in a sign of weaker physical demand for the metal in China. ShFE aluminium rose 0.1 per cent to 14,070 yuan a tonne, trading higher for a third day. It is on course to end the week up 1.4 per cent in what would be its best week since the week ended Feb. 22.

Reuters