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December 27, 2016

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Shanghai rises, Tokyo dips in quiet stock trade

TOKYO stocks closed lower yesterday while Shanghai climbed and Seoul rose marginally in quiet trading, with most of the region’s other key markets closed for public holidays.

Incentives were few and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which on Friday again fell short of 20,000 points in light trade ahead of the holiday weekend, provided little tailwind.

Shanghai shares ended higher as investors sought opportunities in securities companies and state-owned enterprises.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 3,122.57 points. The index fell 0.78 percent during the morning session, and “investors bought a dip” as they pursued shares of brokerages and state-owned enterprises, said Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities.

Investors in Japan cashed in on a recent global rally fueled largely by expectations for the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index, which was closed on Friday for a national holiday, ended down 0.16 percent to 19,396.64 points. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.37 percent at 1,538.14.

“Selective shares are facing profit-taking following the recent gains, as many investors are on the sidelines in a holiday mood, looking to fresh factors to trade,” said Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.

Japan’s banks remained under selling pressure on negative news in the sector from overseas.

Italy on Friday approved a state-funded rescue of the world’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse agreed to pay almost US$12.5 billion to settle disputes over the sale of mortgage-backed securities during the global financial crisis.

Japan’s MUFG dropped 1.22 percent while its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group slipped 0.84 percent.

“There are very few market participants around the end of the year, and with some short-term overbuying, Japanese stocks may keep adjusting their levels,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co, told Bloomberg News.

But Nintendo rose 4.06 percent to 24,555 yen (US$210) after the company’s president told a Japanese newspaper that it plans to release at least three game apps for smartphones a year.

Seoul ended up 0.09 percent. Financial markets were closed in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Wellington and Jakarta for public holidays.


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