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Japanese carmakers and Australian miners lift Asian markets

Monday 03.00 BST

What you need to know

  • Japanese automakers and Australian miners drive equity gains
  • Dollar edges lower from one-week high notched after US jobs data
  • Oil backs down from Friday’s increase

Overview

Equities were broadly gaining and the dollar was slightly softer in Monday trading in Asia as oil gave up some of its increase from Friday.

Hot topic

Asia Pacific equities started the week on the right foot as Japanese carmakers and Australian miners led indices upward.

Tokyo’s Topix index rose 0.7 per cent on a strong performance from industrials. Shares in Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor were up 2.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, after the carmakers announced they would jointly build a $1.6bn plant in the US and co-ordinate work on developing electric and self-driving vehicles, as part of a deeper partnership agreement.

In Australia materials stocks were benefiting from a rally in Chinese iron ore prices, which rose as much as 7 per cent in Dalian on Monday. Shares in Rio Tinto were up 1.8 per cent, while those in rival BHP Billiton gained 2.2 per cent.

In Hong Kong Tencent was leading a rise in information technology stocks with gains of 1.7 per cent, while the Hang Seng index was up 0.5 per cent.

Forex and fixed income

The dollar was edging back in Asia trading from Friday’s rally, which was spurred by a solid jobs report that supported the case for the Federal Reserve to press ahead with plans for policy normalisation.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of currencies, was down 0.2 per cent from a one-week high, to settle at 93.4 as most major currencies gained on the dollar.

The euro was closing in on the $1.18 mark, climbing 0.2 per cent to $1.1791. Japan’s yen was largely steady at ¥110.69, while the Australian dollar gained 0.3 per cent on its US counterpart to $0.7943.

The yield, which moves inversely to price, on the 10-year US Treasury was flat at 2.266 per cent.

Commodities

Oil prices were edging lower at the start of the trading week after settling higher on Friday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.2 per cent at $52.32 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, fell the same amount at $49.50.

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