Asian shares inch higher in thin holiday trade

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Trading Hall
Asian Stocks Traded Mixed Today January 9

Asian stocks rose broadly on Monday after the G7 summit ended with a pledge to continue to support economies with investment until the pandemic subsides.

Amid inflation worries, investors awaited the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday for more cues about economic recovery and monetary policy.

Markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong were closed for the Dragon Boat Festival. The Australian market was closed in observance of the Queen’s Birthday.

Japanese shares posted solid gains as the government lifted the Covid-19 state of emergency in Olympics city Tokyo and downgraded it to a quasi-emergency state in three prefectures.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his strong resolve to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics next month despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nikkei average climbed 213.07 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 29,161.80, while the broader Topix index closed 0.29 per cent higher at 1,959.75.
Shippers and tire makers paced the gainers, with Bridgestone, Nippon Yusen and Yokohama Rubber rallying 1-3 per cent. Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing advanced 2.2 per cent.

Toshiba Corp shares jumped 2.7 per cent. The conglomerate said it has amended slate of nominees for directors, committee members and executive officers as major shareholders demanded accountability after an investigation showed unfair practices in last year’s board selection process.

Seoul stocks edged up marginally to close at a record high as investors awaited cues from this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Kospi average edged up 2.81 points to settle at 3,252.13.

Naver rallied 3.9 per cent, while LG Chem led losses to end 2.7 per cent lower.

New Zealand shares ended little changed with a positive bias amid a lack of major catalysts and renewed worries over inflation. The benchmark NZX-50 index ended a choppy session up 11.78 points at 12,562.17 in light trading.

Dairy company A2 Milk and Synlait climbed 2.6 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare lost 2.6 per cent.

The services index in New Zealand continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from BusinessNZ showed, with a Performance of Services Index of 56.1, down from 61.2 in April.

US stocks ended mostly higher on Friday, as bond yields fell on dovish Fed and European Central Bank talk, and a measure of US consumer sentiment rose more than expected in early June.

The Dow inched up marginally as a bipartisan group of 10 senators unveiled an infrastructure spending plan. The S&P 500 edged up 0.2 per cent to reach a new record closing high, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4 per cent to its best closing level in more than a month.

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