26 Feb 2024, 09:44

Asian markets mostly lower on profit-taking after tech surge

HONG KONG, Feb 26, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Asian markets were mostly lower Monday, although Tokyo's key Nikkei index hit fresh all-time highs after two of the three main US indices closed at records.
   But investors were turning to profit-taking as last week's mega market rally -- fuelled by stellar results from US technology titan Nvidia -- loses steam, analysts said.
   On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow and the S&P ended higher than ever but the tech-heavy Nasdaq index slipped, following a three-percent surge a day earlier.
   The "Nvidia advance moderated while other big tech share prices eased following a decent AI-driven run of late", said Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank.
   Tokyo's Nikkei index was up 0.5 percent, pushing further past the December 1989 record it smashed on Friday.
   But Chinese shares faltered, with Hong Kong opening higher then losing 0.6 percent in morning trade, and Shanghai down 0.4 percent.
   The losses came despite the Chinese government saying it wants to boost sales of cars, home appliances and other consumer products, in "piecemeal incentives to stimulate the economy", Catril said.
   Singapore dropped 0.9 percent and Seoul also fell 0.5 percent. Bangkok, Jakarta and Wellington were lower, while Sydney was flat. Taipei gained 0.1 percent.
   Oil prices were down, extending losses on Friday as the G7 countries pledged new sanctions on Russia two years after its invasion of Ukraine.
   "Lack of demand (for crude oil) remains a concern while new US and EU Russia sanctions added to the uncertainty," Catril said.
   Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management also said the global oil supply would likely decelerate this year.
   "Global growth, and consequently global oil demand, is more likely to underperform expectations due to the challenges currently confronting the Chinese economy and the need for the Fed to persist in mitigating inflationary pressures," he said.
   This week brings a raft of major indicators including January CPI for Australia and Japan, and "Super Friday" with key inflation and manufacturing data released by both the United States and China.
   - Key figures around 0230 GMT -
   Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 39,308.52
   Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.6 percent at 16,631.80
   Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 2,991.60
   Dollar/yen: DOWN at 150.47 yen from 150.53 yen on Friday
   Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2659 from $1.2672
   Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0815 from $1.0824
   Euro/pound: UP at 85.44 pence from 85.39 pence
   Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.4 percent at $81.28 per barrel
   West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.5 percent at $76.14 per barrel
   New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 39,131.53 points (close)
   London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,706.28 (close)

  • Latest News
  • Most View