HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets were mixed Tuesday, with Tokyo leading gainers on bargain-buying after the previous day’s sell-off, while Wall Street provided some support with another record close.
Hong Kong and Shanghai extended their previous day’s losses, despite a new trading link-up between the two exchanges.
Tokyo – which lost almost three percent Monday on news Japan’s economy was in recession – jumped 2.18 per cent, or 370.26 points, to 17,344.06. Seoul added 1.20 per cent, or 23.38 points, to 1,967.01 and Sydney fell 0.24 per cent, or 12.8 points, to close at 5,399.7.
Hong Kong lost 1.13 per cent, or 267.91 points, to end at 23,529.17 and Shanghai shed 0.71 per cent, or 17.64 points, to 2,456.37. Focus is on the next move by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after data Monday showed the economy was in recession, hammered by a sales tax hike in April.
Analysts now expect him to delay another sales tax rise due in October and call a snap election as he tries to bolster support within his own party ahead of a planned leadership poll next year.
“Investors now overwhelmingly expect the government to dissolve the lower house of parliament and put off the 2015 consumption tax hike,” Shunichi Otsuka, general manager of research and strategy at Ichiyoshi Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
News of the recession initially sent the dollar soaring above 117 yen for the first time since mid-2007 before it sank below 116 yen in Asia.
But the greenback clawed back most of its losses to end Monday at 116.63 yen in New York. On Tuesday in Tokyo it was at 116.70 yen.
The euro edged up against the dollar after sinking Monday in response to comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that the lender is ready to step up its asset purchases to counter ultra low inflation. Gold was at $1,193.85 an ounce, compared with $1,186.55 late Monday.