Asian shares mixed ahead of data releases

AFPJune 30, 2014

Asia's markets were mixed Monday despite a positive lead from Wall Street, as traders await the release of key economic data this week including figures on global manufacturing and US jobs.

Tokyo climbed 0.44 percent, or 67.10 points to finish at 15,162.10, Seoul rose 0.69 percent, or 13.70 points, to 2,002.21 and Shanghai ended 0.59 percent higher, adding 11.82 points to 2,048.33.

However, Sydney slipped 0.91 percent, or 49.4 points, to close at 5,395.7 while Hong Kong was marginally lower, edging down 21.20 points to 23,200.32.

With few catalysts to drive business the focus is on Tuesday's release of June purchasing managers' indices out of China, the eurozone and the United States.

There are hopes the figures will show a further rise in activity in global manufacturing following a recent uptick.

A preliminary report from HSBC earlier in the month showed growth in China for the first time this year.

Later in the week the US Labor Department unveils its jobs report for June, which will be pored over for clues about the state of the world's number one economy.

The three main indices on Wall Street ended higher Friday thanks to a healthy earnings report from Nike. The Dow edged marginally higher, while the S&P 500 rose 0.19 percent and the Nasdaq put on 0.43 percent.

Japan's Nikkei on Monday ended higher despite a pick-up in the yen, which hits exporters' profitability and competitiveness.

The greenback bought 101.37 yen in the afternoon, compared with 101.45 yen in New York Friday. The euro fetched $1.3653 and 138.42 yen against $1.3646 and 138.45 yen in US trade.

Before the market opened Tokyo released data showing factory output rose 0.5 percent in May from a month earlier after a 2.8 percent fall in April.

The median forecast by the market had been for a recovery of 0.9 percent after a sales tax rise in April dampened consumer demand and production.

On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 59 cents at $105.15 a barrel in afternoon trade. Brent crude dropped 78 cents to $112.52.

Gold fetched $1,314.66 an ounce at 0805 GMT compared with $1,315.46 late Friday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei rose 0.93 percent, or 86.24 points, to 9,393.07.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 0.80 percent to Tw$126.5 while Hon Hai Precision added 1.42 percent to Tw$100.0.

-- Wellington was marginally lower, dipping 2.77 points to 5,141.48.

Contact Energy eased 0.38 percent to NZ$5.31 and Trade Me lost 0.57 percent to end at NZ$3.48.

-- Manila was flat, nudging up 2.16 points to 6,844.31.

Ayala Corp. shed 0.08 percent to 647.50 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone was up 0.95 percent at 2,988 pesos.