Asia report: Markets mixed on final trading day of the year

by | Dec 29, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Asia-Pacific markets displayed a mixed performance on the final trading day of 2023, as investors assessed various factors impacting regional economies.
Markets in mainland China were in the green, as the country’s tech sector displayed particular strength.

“On the penultimate trading day of 2023, the S&P 500 managed to eke out a nominal gain, retracing early advances just before the closing bell,” said SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes.

“The benchmark index concluded the session with light trading volume, ending a mere 0.3% below its record closing high set on January 3, 2022.

“Over in Asia, the weak US numbers could potentially have a negative ripple effect, particularly on export-driven economies sensitive to US growth, which may begin to reflect a more bearish outlook.”

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index declined by 0.22%, closing at 33,464.17, while the Topix index saw a modest uptick of 0.19%, reaching 2,366.39.

Leading the decliners on Tokyo’s benchmark were Idemitsu Kosan, down 2.33%; Pacific Metals, off 2.02%; and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, which lost 1.81%.

China’s stock markets exhibited strength, with the Shanghai Composite index rising by 0.68% to 2,974.93, and the Shenzhen Component advancing by 0.89% to 9,524.69.

Tech companies like Clenergy Xiamen Technology and Cybrid Technologies recorded substantial gains in Shanghai of 10.01%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index posted a marginal increase of 0.02%, closing at 17,047.39.

Leading the gainers were Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group, up 6.34%; China Resources Mixc Lifestyle, ahead 3.53%; and Country Garden Services, rising 3.53%.

South Korean markets were closed for the New Year holiday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index experienced a slight decline of 0.31%, ending the day at 7,590.80, with the declines led by Perseus Mining, down 3.39%, and Genesis Minerals, which lost 2.98%.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index saw a minor increase of 0.02%, reaching 11,770.49.

Pacific Edge and Restaurant Brands New Zealand were among the leading gainers, rising 8.33% and 5.01%, respectively.

In currency markets, the dollar was last 0.08% stronger on the yen, trading at JPY 141.53, while it gained 0.57% against its Australian counterpart to AUD 1.4726, and advanced 0.36% against the Kiwi, changing hands at NZD 1.5850.

On the oil front, Brent crude futures were last up 0.32% on ICE at $77.40 per barrel, while the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate was ahead 0.22% at $71.93.

Reporting by Josh White for

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