KANGYO YOKOHAMA SECURITIES COMMENTS AS ASIAN STOCKS END MIXED IN HOLIDAY-THIN TRADE, BUILDING ON GAINS OVERNIGHT

Kanyo Yokohama Securities has commented on Asian stock markets on Thursday ended slightly lower as top venue China started a market breakthrough February 21 to mark the Lunar New Year while Hong Kong also shut and Singapore was on holidays Friday and Monday.

Overnight, following the release of a report showing manufacturing activity in China expanded for the sixth month, the domestic equity market was closer to breaking a run of weekly losses.

The shares of automakers soared after well-received financial updates, and as investors appeared to regain their appetite for riskier assets.

Those moves were helping steer the market sentiment ahead of long vacations, though fears over Trump’s trade policy remained following a summit with Japanese prime minister.

Alex Parker, Director of Corporate Equities at Kangyo Yokohama Securities commented “Midway through the session, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3 per cent, powered in part by the basic materials group. Australia’s ASX/200 Index fell 0.3 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended flat.”

Data released this morning showed that China’s PMI index was recently up to 53.2 in January from a final reading of 51.2 in December, as export orders grew firmly last month.

The figure remains well supported above the 50.0 mark for the seventh consecutive month, adding to hopes over a stronger recovery pace in the world’s second-largest economy.

Japanese stocks also advanced even as the yen approached the 120 level for the first time in six months, as the dollar dropped. Yen strength can hurt sales of Japanese exports in overseas markets, and in turn, hurt shares of companies at home.