Asian equity markets trade mildly positive with most of the major indices experiencing minor gains. The ASX 200 is being supported by the healthcare and industrials sectors, whilst Medusa Mining is the best performing stock amid advances in gold prices. The Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses to close morning trade above the 14,800 level. Today’s notable stock is Pioneer Corp, which gained over 33% to reach limit up, following reports the Co. is to sell JPY 8.95bln of shares in a private sale to Mitsubishi Electric and DoCoMo. The KOSPI is the best performing index as automobile exporters advance, the Hang Seng trades in the green, whilst the Shanghai Comp. is the laggard with all 10 sectors in the red.
In the FX markets, NZD/USD initially fell following the release of lower than expected New Zealand Q1 Retail Sales of 0.5% vs. Exp. 0.8%. However, NZD/USD then recovered spurred by across the board USD weakness. JPY strengthened, amid comments from Japan’s economic minister Amari, who said it is important that FX rates don't undergo wild fluctuations and that the government will work to ensure FX rates trend calmly through various measures.
Elsewhere, WTI prices trended marginally higher, whilst gold prices increased amid USD weakness which should provide slight relief from the drops in gold prices which have declined for the past 3 days.
Looking forward, Japanese Machine Tool Orders is scheduled for 0700BST/0100CDT.
As of 0348BST:
ASX 200 (+0.22%), Nikkei 225 (+0.24%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.79%), Hang Seng (+0.12%), KOSPI (+0.99%)
14 May 2013 - 03:46 - - Source: RANsquawk
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