HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed Tuesday as
bargain-hunting lifted some bourses, but Tokyo dropped again following heavy losses in the previous session when stocks were hit by a stronger yen.
Wall Street provided another negative lead and Chinese dealers continue to fret about the restart of initial public offerings, which they fear could lead to a share glut.
Tokyo fell 0.51 percent by the break and Shanghai was 0.47 percent lower, while Hong Kong added 0.16 percent and Sydney gained 0.34 percent.
Seoul climbed 0.24 percent despite falls in Samsung Electronics shares after the company said it expected a steep drop in its fourth-quarter operating profit.
After a broadly positive year for global markets, 2014 has started sluggishly but investors will have their eyes on the release Wednesday of minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting.
Analysts will pore over the data to look for clues about whether officials will further cut a stimulus programme this month after reducing it by $10 billion a month to $75 billion at the December meeting.
The three main indexes on Wall Street slipped Monday after numbers showing new factory orders in November hit their highest level since 1992 were offset by a slowdown in growth of the service sector last month.
The Dow fell 0.27 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.25 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.44 percent.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei added to the 2.35 percent loss it suffered on Monday as the stronger yen combined with profit-taking after the index surged 57 percent last year.
The dollar traded at 104.26 yen compared with 104.19 yen in New York on Monday but is still well down from the five-year high of 105.41 yen seen at the start of last week.
And the euro — which also touched a five-year high of 145.69 yen last week — bought 142.00 yen, against 142.02 yen in the United States. The euro also fetched $1.3627 from $1.3629.
Chinese shares suffered another round of selling pressure as a fresh batch of companies prepare to list in the country after a year-long hiatus, which traders fear could divert already tight cash supplies. Markets have also been spooked by data last week showing growth in manufacturing activity slowed in December.
On oil markets, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for
February delivery, was up 22 cents at $93.65 in early Asian trading while Brent North Sea crude for February rose 29 cents to $107.02.
Gold fetched $1,242.70 at 0220 GMT compared with $1,237.60 late Monday.