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Asia Market Update

Asian shares generally started Monday with slight declines as investors took profits on the last day of a largely positive month for stocks in the region that benefited from robust earnings and higher commodity prices.

Traders want to hold cash as the possibility of tax and infrastructure overhauls in the U.S. fades, said Hao Hong, head of research at BOCOM International in Hong Kong.

A number of markets struggled for direction Monday as end-of-week declines continued in the U.S. dollar, which remained near its worst levels in a year.

That added pressure on Japanese stocks, which have lagged behind this month and put the Nikkei NIK, -0.07%   on the verge of its first monthly decline since March. It is off 0.5% for July, including 0.1% Monday, as the dollar fell below ¥110.50.

But a number of exporter and electronics stocks, which typically fall when the yen strengthens, rose. Strong earnings growth from Hitachi 6501, +3.98%   and Kyocera 6971, +3.14%   helped. Their stocks were recently up 4% and 3%, respectively, to hit their best levels in two years.

Meanwhile, investors again looked to be largely ignoring another missile launch from North Korea. The latest one occurred late Friday, and experts said it put the continental U.S. in range of Pyongyang’s arsenal.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.23%  , which before of the launch on Friday posted its biggest decline in 2017, fell a further 0.3%.

Outperformers again included Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.65%  , which through Friday jumped 4.7% this month to solidify what would be a seventh-straight monthly gain, the longest such run since the eight-month streak in 2007.

The index rose 0.5% early Monday, with heavyweight HSBC 0005, +0.72%   up 0.9% ahead of its second-quarter report.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.41%   rose 0.3% on commodity-stock strength as it tries to avoid a third-straight losing month. It entered Monday down 0.3% for July. BHP Billiton BHP, +2.53%   and Rio Tinto RIO, +2.40%   gained 2.3% while Oil Search OSH, +1.06%   and Woodside Petroleum WPL, +1.01%   added about 1%.

Source: marketwatch.com

Asian shares generally started Monday with slight declines as investors took profits on the last day of a largely positive month for stocks in the region that benefited from robust earnings and higher commodity prices.

Traders want to hold cash as the possibility of tax and infrastructure overhauls in the U.S. fades, said Hao Hong, head of research at BOCOM International in Hong Kong.

A number of markets struggled for direction Monday as end-of-week declines continued in the U.S. dollar, which remained near its worst levels in a year.

That added pressure on Japanese stocks, which have lagged behind this month and put the Nikkei NIK, -0.07%   on the verge of its first monthly decline since March. It is off 0.5% for July, including 0.1% Monday, as the dollar fell below ¥110.50.

But a number of exporter and electronics stocks, which typically fall when the yen strengthens, rose. Strong earnings growth from Hitachi 6501, +3.98%   and Kyocera 6971, +3.14%   helped. Their stocks were recently up 4% and 3%, respectively, to hit their best levels in two years.

Meanwhile, investors again looked to be largely ignoring another missile launch from North Korea. The latest one occurred late Friday, and experts said it put the continental U.S. in range of Pyongyang’s arsenal.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.23%  , which before of the launch on Friday posted its biggest decline in 2017, fell a further 0.3%.

Outperformers again included Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.65%  , which through Friday jumped 4.7% this month to solidify what would be a seventh-straight monthly gain, the longest such run since the eight-month streak in 2007.

The index rose 0.5% early Monday, with heavyweight HSBC 0005, +0.72%   up 0.9% ahead of its second-quarter report.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.41%   rose 0.3% on commodity-stock strength as it tries to avoid a third-straight losing month. It entered Monday down 0.3% for July. BHP Billiton BHP, +2.53%   and Rio Tinto RIO, +2.40%   gained 2.3% while Oil Search OSH, +1.06%   and Woodside Petroleum WPL, +1.01%   added about 1%.

Source: marketwatch.com

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