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Asia Market Update

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Stock markets in Asia were mostly lower Friday after modest declines in the U.S. and Europe overnight, but South Korea’s stock benchmark rebounded after sharp end-of-session losses a day earlier.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.51%  was up 0.4% ahead of the close. On Thursday, the index in the last 90 minutes of trading went from a 1.4% gain to finishing down 0.4%. The fall was attributed to the quarterly expiration of index options and futures, which sometimes results in heavy trading as institutional investors unwind or rollover positions.

“The amount [of long-arb positions] was a lot more than people expected. There was no one left to buy the stocks,” said SooMyung Kim, an equities-derivatives analyst at Samsung Securities.

Paul Choi, head of Korea research for CLSA, added the index’s decline wasn’t backed by fundamentals, resulting in today’s outperformance.

Japan had a roller-coaster afternoon. Among the region’s biggest decliners in the morning, led by cellphone-service providers and fresh pressure from a strengthened yen, the Nikkei NIK, -0.62%  briefly turned positive after the lunch break.

But the rebound didn’t last, and the index finished down 0.6%, logging a fourth-straight decline.

In Hong Kong, locally listed Chinese financial stocks, which have been among the market’s strongest performers this year, continued their recent pullback. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.17%  was down 1%.

Singapore’s main index slid 0.5%, hit by fresh selling in bank stocks. The Straits Times Index STI, -0.46% earlier this week hit a fresh 2 ½-year closing high.

Equities in India got a lift from exit polls suggesting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will remain in power in Gujarat state and unseat the opposition in Himachal Pradesh. The Sensex 1, +0.95%  was recently up 0.8%.

New Zealand’s, NZX 50 NZX, +1.83% NZ50GR, +0.45%  set a sixth-straight record closing high and the 46th of 2017. There were 50 last year. Leading the moves was a 23% rise in beauty-brand manager Trilogy following a buyout offer.

Commodities were broadly being helped by the U.S. dollar’s pullback the past two days. Oil CLG8, +0.26%  were slightly higher in Asian trading, building on an overnight rebound

Source: marketwatch.com

Stock markets in Asia were mostly lower Friday after modest declines in the U.S. and Europe overnight, but South Korea’s stock benchmark rebounded after sharp end-of-session losses a day earlier.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.51%  was up 0.4% ahead of the close. On Thursday, the index in the last 90 minutes of trading went from a 1.4% gain to finishing down 0.4%. The fall was attributed to the quarterly expiration of index options and futures, which sometimes results in heavy trading as institutional investors unwind or rollover positions.

“The amount [of long-arb positions] was a lot more than people expected. There was no one left to buy the stocks,” said SooMyung Kim, an equities-derivatives analyst at Samsung Securities.

Paul Choi, head of Korea research for CLSA, added the index’s decline wasn’t backed by fundamentals, resulting in today’s outperformance.

Japan had a roller-coaster afternoon. Among the region’s biggest decliners in the morning, led by cellphone-service providers and fresh pressure from a strengthened yen, the Nikkei NIK, -0.62%  briefly turned positive after the lunch break.

But the rebound didn’t last, and the index finished down 0.6%, logging a fourth-straight decline.

In Hong Kong, locally listed Chinese financial stocks, which have been among the market’s strongest performers this year, continued their recent pullback. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.17%  was down 1%.

Singapore’s main index slid 0.5%, hit by fresh selling in bank stocks. The Straits Times Index STI, -0.46% earlier this week hit a fresh 2 ½-year closing high.

Equities in India got a lift from exit polls suggesting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will remain in power in Gujarat state and unseat the opposition in Himachal Pradesh. The Sensex 1, +0.95%  was recently up 0.8%.

New Zealand’s, NZX 50 NZX, +1.83% NZ50GR, +0.45%  set a sixth-straight record closing high and the 46th of 2017. There were 50 last year. Leading the moves was a 23% rise in beauty-brand manager Trilogy following a buyout offer.

Commodities were broadly being helped by the U.S. dollar’s pullback the past two days. Oil CLG8, +0.26%  were slightly higher in Asian trading, building on an overnight rebound

Source: marketwatch.com

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