Asian markets mixed, dealers await Spain debt sale

Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as dealers cautiously awaited a crucial bond auction in Spain, while Wall Street provided a soft lead after falling on disappointing corporate earnings.

A report in Chinese state media that the central bank would boost liquidity in the nation's giant economy provided some regional support.

Tokyo slipped 0.82 percent, or 78.88 points, to 9,588.38, Seoul fell 0.23 percent, or 4.67 points, to 1,999.86 and Sydney closed 0.32 percent, or 14.0 points, higher at 4,362.7.

Hong Kong rose 1.03 percent, or 214.28 points, to 20,995.01 and Shanghai ended flat, dipping 2.22 points to 2,378.63.

With the eurozone debt crisis back in focus, investors were looking to a sale of Spain's benchmark 10-year government bonds later in the day for an indication of market confidence in the under-pressure country.

Asia rallied on Wednesday after Madrid successfully sold 12- and 18-month debt, albeit at a higher rate.

"There will be a lot of attention on tonight's Spanish 10-year bond auction and the result will give a good indication on how the market will perform in the next few days," said Miguel Audencial, sales trader at CMC Markets.

"There is potentially a good upside if yields are low. However if Spain's cost of debt breaches the six-percent barrier" a selloff in commodities and shares is likely, Audencial said in a note, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Investors are also looking ahead to a G20 meeting on Thursday and Friday that will discuss boosting the International Monetary Fund's debt-crisis war chest to $500 billion.

"Amid growing concerns over Spanish (debt) financing, the meeting failing to agree on enough expansion of the safety net would put selling pressure on the euro," said Masafumi Yamamoto, currency strategist at Barclays Capital.

Japan Wednesday pledged $60.0 billion to the fund, saying it was a critical part of the organisation's bid to boost a global firewall against Europe's debt crisis.

Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland are among the nations that have since pledged billions of dollars to the effort, but it was unclear what figure would be settled on at the meeting.

Before Tokyo's market opened, Japan posted a record 4.410 trillion yen ($54.2 billion) trade deficit for the 12 months to March as car and electronics exports slumped while energy imports soared after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The country's overseas shipments took a hammering last year as the March 11 quake-tsunami as well as floods in Thailand -- where many Japanese firms have plants -- slammed production, while the European debt crisis cut into demand.

However, figures also showed a deficit of just 82.6 billion yen in March, well below economists' expectations for a deficit of 223 billion yen.

Wall Street's main indexes ended in the red as earnings reports, although better than expected, left dealers unimpressed.

The Dow shed 0.63 percent, the broader S&P 500 lost 0.41 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 0.37 percent.

China's official Xinhua news agency late Wednesday quoted a central bank official as saying it would increase bank liquidity, including through cuts in reserve requirements. That lifted Sydney shares, with miners leading gains.

The report comes amid hopes for monetary easing from Beijing as the economy slows and manufacturing stutters in the world's number two economy.

The dollar firmed to 81.50 yen in afternoon Asian trade from 81.23 yen in New York late Wednesday. The euro bought $1.3132 and 107.02 yen against $1.3120 and 106.59 yen.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May was rose 25 cents to $102.92 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for June gained 42 cents to $118.39 in late afternoon trade.

Gold was at $1,642.75 an ounce at 0810 GMT, compared with $1,647.00 late Wednesday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei closed 0.23 percent, or 17.69 points, higher at 7,622.69.

TSMC was 0.94 percent higher at Tw$85.8 while Hon Hai Precision fell 2.31 percent to Tw$105.5.

-- Manila closed 0.24 percent or 12.92 points, lower at 5,173.28.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone shed 0.85 percent to 2,550 pesos and Ayala Land dropped 1.5 percent to 21.55 pesos.

-- Wellington closed flat, edging up 2.43 points to 3,525.19.

Contact Energy added 0.20 percent to NZ$4.91 and Telecom was unchanged at NZ$2.53, while Air New Zealand was up 1.15 percent at NZ$0.88.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options