The major equity markets in Asia showed a mixed picture on Monday. Investors processed Friday’s mostly lower closing positions on Wall Street, where a disappointing US consumer confidence figure weighed down sentiment.
Concerns about the deadlock surrounding the increase in the US debt ceiling also gripped markets. In addition, figures on Chinese industrial production and retail sales were expected to be released on Tuesday. These may provide more insight into the recovery of the second-largest economy in the world.
Japan’s main index, the Nikkei 225, was up 0.6 percent in the last hour of trading. The major Japanese export companies benefited from yen depreciation, making their products cheaper abroad. Steel manufacturer Nippon Steel and car manufacturers Toyota and Honda, which sell many vehicles abroad, rose slightly. Camera manufacturer Canon and the maker of construction equipment Komatsu rose 0.5 percent.
The stock market in Shanghai fell 0.9 percent, and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.1 percent, partly thanks to price gains at Chinese tech companies. For example, tech and web store group Alibaba gained 0.1 percent, and internet and games company Tencent rose 2.7 percent. On the other hand, the Kospi in Seoul lost 0.3 percent, and the All Ordinaries in Sydney went up a fraction.
The stock market in Thailand fell 0.5 percent despite stronger-than-expected growth in the Thai economy in the first quarter. On the other hand, the Thai baht appreciated against the US dollar after the clear victory of the pro-democracy opposition parties in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Whether the election result is enough for the pro-democrats to oust sitting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha from power, Conservative Chan-O-Cha was installed as prime minister after the 2014 military coup.