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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed as geopolitical tensions sour mood
Apr 19,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed mixed on Wednesday, 19 April 2017, as tensions over North Korea and uncertainty about the UK election weigh on investor sentiment.

Escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea kept investors nervous, while eyes were also on Europe where sterling surged after British Prime Minister Theresa May called an early general election for June 8, seeking to strengthen her partys majority ahead of Brexit negotiations.

Frances presidential election is closely watched as the stakes for investors are high, with two anti-EU, anti-euro candidates among the four seen still in contention to make it to a second round two weeks after Sundays ballot. Meanwhile, a surprise announcement, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election on June 8 as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union by 2019.

The political calendar was already heavy in 2017 with upcoming votes in France and Germany having major implications for the eurozone. The first round of the French presidential election is scheduled for Sunday.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Shares hit 3-week low

Australian equity market finished session at three-week lows, on tracking wider market weakness in the region as presidential elections in France. Meanwhile, escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Most of the ASX sectors declined, with heavyweight bank shares being major losers after the central bank flagged risks in the countrys housing market, while energy shares continued to drag on persistent weakness in oil prices. At the close, the benchmark SS&P/ASX 200 declined 32.70 points, or 0.56%, to 5804.

Financials were lower, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking, Australia & New Zealand Banking and National Australia Bank down by between 1% and 1.6%.

Real estate stocks took a beating with shares of property developers Scentre Group and Stockland Corporation Ltd shedding 2.1% and 2.5%, respectively.

Shares of resources companies also declined, with growing worries about a production glut pressured crude oil prices Oil major Woodside Petroleum to 1% down, while peer Oil Search dropped 1.9% after it announced a drop in quarterly output. Meanwhile, large-cap miners such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto reversed early losses, with BHP ending 0.02% down and Rio shares gaining 1.6%.

Telecommunications operators Telstra and TPG Telecom both rebounded from sharp selling in recent days after the latter unveiled plans to launch a new mobile network in Australia. Telstra jumped 3.3% and TPG gained 7.1%, although the remain down 11% and 14%, respectively, so far this month.

Japan Stocks end mixed

The Japan share market finished virtually flat in choppy trade, as investors turned cautious amid lingering concern over the North Korean situation and after Britains shock decision to call a snap general election. The 225-issue Nikkei average edged up 0.07% to 18,432.20 after traversing positive and negative territory, while the broader Topix was down 0.01% at 1,471.42.

Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp falling 1.1%, Honda Motor Co shedding 1.2% and Panasonic Corp rising 0.7%.

Shippers fell after the Baltic dry index, or freight charges, dropped overnight. Mitsui OSK Lines shed 2.1% and Nippon Yusen stumbled 3.1%.

Toshiba tacked on 1.6% after Japans Nikkei business daily reported the loss-hit industrial giant plans to spin off infrastructure and other major operations into separate companies in a bid to quicken management decisions. The Asahi newspaper separately reported Japans industry ministry was considering having government-backed firms make a joint bid for Toshibas memory chip business with US semiconductor company Broadcom, amid concerns about the sensitive technology going abroad

China Stocks fall for fourth day

The Mainland China equity market closed lower for fourth straight session, as risk aversion selloff flared on deepening worries that tighter regulations against speculation and shadow banking will hurt the countrys credit-fuelled recovery. Most of the sectoral blue-chip stocks fell, with raw material shares among the worst hit as commodity prices fell sharply. But consumer and healthcare stocks - generally viewed as defensive in nature - continued to outperform the broader market ,amid a time of volatility. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5% to 3,445.88 points. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.81%, or 26.02 points, to 3,170.69. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, dropped 0.62%, or 13.96 points, to 1,932.46.

China has stepped up property curbs in major cities, launched a nationwide inspection on banks businesses with a focus on shadow banking, and vowed to fight speculation in the stock market.

Underscoring the painful trade-off China is facing, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned of potential economic disruptions in the medium-term if it failed to reduce its reliance on rapid credit growth.

Some investors worry that strong economic growth reported in the first quarter will begin to ease in coming months as the effect of earlier stimulus starts to fade, and as local governments announce tougher measures to curb the overheated property market.

The central bank has also signalled a move to a tighter monetary policy bias, raising short-term interest rates to contain risks in the system and discourage speculation.

Among big movers, Jiangsu Zhangjiagang Rural Commercial Bank, listed in Shenzhen in January, jumped 10% to the daily limit to 17.9 yuan. The stock had fallen 16% in the previous three days as China Securities Regulatory Commission vowed to regulate speculative or manipulated trading in recently listed stocks or those paying exceptionally high bonuses.

Similar concept stocks like Eurocrane China Co and Chongqing Construction Engineering Group also bounced up by their 10% daily limits.

Hong Kong Stocks fall on uncertainties

The Hong Kong stock market closed down for third straight session, on tracking a sell-off across Asia, Europe and the US on geopolitical concerns and growing uncertainty about the Frances presidential election. Sentiment was also hurt by a weakness in Chinas stock market, after Beijings stepped-up property curbs and deleveraging campaign will slow Chinas economic growth. The citys benchmark Hang Seng Index slid 0.4%, or 98.7 points, to 23,825.88, a level unseen since March 15. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks the so-called H shares sold by Chinese companies, declined 0.6% to 9,983.7, the lowest level in more than two months. Turnover increased to HK$72.2 billion from HK$70.6 billion on Tuesday.

Among big movers, Geely Automobile Holdings outperformed its blue-chip peers to close 6.4% higher at HK$11.3, following the start of the Shanghai Auto Show. AAC Technologies, component provider for iPhone, surged 5.1% to HK$100.3. Casino operator Sands China lost 2.5% to HK$35.6, Galaxy Entertainment, another casino operator, fell 2.4%.

Air China was the biggest loser among H shares, ending 3.3% down to HK$6.46 after a report by Morgan Stanley recommending investors to sell H shares of mainland airline operators.

Geely Auto (00175) jumped 6.4% to HK$11.28 after Goldman Sachs raised its target price. Great Wall Motor (02333) put on 3.2% to HK$9.27 after the auto maker expects target sales of its new brand WEY to double next year. AAC Technologies (02018) shot up 5% to HK$100.3 on talks that Apple plans to launch the most expensive iPhone to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Sunny Optical (02382) gained 3% to HK$56.85.

HSBC (00005) inched down 0.5% to HK$62.1 as pound rose to 6-month high after the UK government announced an early election. CKI (01038) bucked the downtrend, rising 1.3% to HK$64.15. Standard Chartered (02888) rose 1.2% to HK$69.4.

India stocks end little changed

Key benchmark indices settled almost unchanged amid mixed trend on the bourses after a listless and rangebound session of trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex closed with small gains while the Nifty settled with tiny losses. The Sensex rose 17.47 points or 0.06% to settle at 29,336.57. The Nifty 50 index declined 1.65 points or 0.02% to settle at 9,103.50. The Sensex snapped four-day losing streak today, 19 April 2017 while Nifty fell for the fifth straight day. Nifty hit lowest closing level in more than three weeks.

Realty and power stocks rose. Bank stocks declined. IndusInd Bank fell after Q4 results. TCS settled with tiny losses post Q4 results.

NTPC gained 1.86%. The company said board of directors has accorded approval for updating and upsizing the $4 billion medium term notes (MTN) programme upto $6 billion for raising debt from international markets to part finance the capital expenditure on new/ongoing projects, coal mining projects, renovation and modernization of power stations and for other permissible end uses.

IndusInd Bank shed 0.63% after announcing Q4 results. The banks net profit rose 21.16% to Rs 751.61 crore on 22.36% increase in total income to Rs 5041.31 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced during trading hours today, 19 April 2017. IndusInd Banks net profit rose 25.43% to Rs 2867.89 crore on 22.47% increase in total income to Rs 18577.16 crore in the year ended March 2017 over the year ended March 2016. The banks gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at Rs 1054.87 crore as on 31 March 2017 as against Rs 971.62 crore as on 30 December 2016 and Rs 776.82 crore as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances stood at 0.93% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.94% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.87% as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 0.39% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.39% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.36% as on 31 March 2016. The banks provisions and contingencies (excluding tax provisions) rose 101.32% to Rs 430.13 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016.

Yes Bank dropped 0.03%. The banks net profit rose 30.2% to Rs 914.10 crore on 29.44% rise in total income to Rs 5606.38 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The company announced Q4 results after market hours today, 19 April 2017. The banks gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to Rs 2018.56 crore as on 31 March 2017 as against Rs 1005.85 crore as on 30 December 2016 and Rs 748.98 crore as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances rose to 1.52% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.85% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.76% as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 0.81% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.29% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.29% as on 31 March 2016. The banks provisions and contingencies (excluding tax provisions) rose 66.11% to Rs 309.73 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The board of directors of the bank have recommended the payment of final dividend Rs 12 per share for the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY 2017).

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Hong Kong Stocks fall on uncertainties
Apr 19,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed down for third straight session on Wednesday, 19 April 2017, on tracking a sell-off across Asia, Europe and the US on geopolitical concerns and growing uncertainty about the Frances presidential election. Sentiment was also hurt by a weakness in Chinas stock market, after Beijings stepped-up property curbs and deleveraging campaign will slow Chinas economic growth. The citys benchmark Hang Seng Index slid 0.4%, or 98.7 points, to 23,825.88, a level unseen since March 15. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks the so-called H shares sold by Chinese companies, declined 0.6% to 9,983.7, the lowest level in more than two months. Turnover increased to HK$72.2 billion from HK$70.6 billion on Tuesday.

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China Stocks fall for fourth day
Apr 19,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed lower for fourth straight session on Wednesday, 19 April 2017, as risk aversion selloff flared on deepening worries that tighter regulations against speculation and shadow banking will hurt the countrys credit-fuelled recovery. Most of the sectoral blue-chip stocks fell, with raw material shares among the worst hit as commodity prices fell sharply. But consumer and healthcare stocks - generally viewed as defensive in nature - continued to outperform the broader market ,amid a time of volatility. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5 per cent to 3,445.88 points. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.81 per cent, or 26.02 points, to 3,170.69. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, dropped 0.62 per cent, or 13.96 points, to 1,932.46.

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Japan Stocks end mixed
Apr 19,2017

The Japan share market finished virtually flat in choppy trade on Wednesday, 19 April 2017, as investors turned cautious amid lingering concern over the North Korean situation and after Britains shock decision to call a snap general election. The 225-issue Nikkei average edged up 0.07% to 18,432.20 after traversing positive and negative territory, while the broader Topix was down 0.01% at 1,471.42.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mostly down on geopolitical tensions
Apr 17,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed mostly down in thin trading on Monday, 17 April 2017, as geopolitical tensions in Korea continued to discourage buying. Markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong were closed for Easter Monday.

Concerns of military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea grew over the past week. On Saturday, North Korea rolled a long-range ballistic missile, among other military equipment, through the streets of Pyongyang to commemorate the birth of the countrys late founder, Kim Il Sung. The next day it unsuccessfully fired a ballistic missile, prompting a senior Trump administration official to warn that North Koreas provocative behavior couldnt continuen++a warning underlined Monday by Vice President Mike Pence, who is visiting the region.

Among Asian bourses

Japan Stocks snap four-session losing streak

The Japan share market finished session higher after recouping losses late afternoon, snapping four-session losing streak, supported by buying on dips by individual investors. Speculation about the Bank of Japans purchase of exchange-traded funds also helped push up the market. However, market topside was capped amid yens appreciation against the dollar and growing tensions on the Korean peninsula. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 19.63 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 18,355.26. The TOPIX index of all First Section issues finished up 6.62 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,465.69. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2177 to 868 and 289 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.23% to 23.03 a new 3-month high.

Movie distributor Toho attracted hefty purchases on its stronger-than-expected group operating profit for the business year that ended in February, announced on Friday. Game-maker Nintendo also went up with investors taking heart from brisk sales of the Nintendo Switch game console.

Among other major winners were utilities, such as Tokyo Electric, Kansai Electric, Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas, and realtors, including Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Estate and Sumitomo Realty.

By contrast, the higher yen battered export-oriented issues, namely automakers Toyota and Honda and technology firm Kyocera. Also on the minus side were clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing and mobile phone carrier SoftBank.

China Stocks fall on anti-speculation crackdown

The Mainland China equity market closed lower, as investors dumped stocks across the board after Chinese authorities promised to curb speculation and prevent investor misdeeds, shrugging off better-than-expected GDP data for first quarter. A flurry of economic data released on Monday morning, including better-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter, was largely priced in. Main sectors fell broadly led by real estate stocks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% or 23.9 points to end at 3,222.2. The large-cap CSI300 dropped 0.2% or 6.6 points to 3,479.9. The Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.7% lower to 10,450.9, and the startup board ChiNext index lost 1% to 1,868.3.

Market sentiment worsened over an escalating regulatory crackdown on stock manipulation, despite stronger-than-expected economic data for the first quarter. Over the weekend Chinas top securities regulator, Liu Shiyu, urged stock exchanges to strengthen regulation and severely punish violations. Comments from Mr. Liu add psychological pressure on the market.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported Chinas GDP grew 6.9% in the first quarter, the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2015. The result was up from the 6.8% growth in the previous quarter and well above Chinas annual target of about 6.5% growth.

Shares in recently listed companies tumbled after securities regulators warned of speculative trading in those stocks, while some stocks related to Xiongan New Area also retreated following sharp gains earlier this month.

The Shanghai-listed shares of Baiyin Nonferrous Group and the Shenzhen-listed shares of Zhejiang Meili High Technology, which were listed earlier this year and witnessed big gains, plunged 10% on Monday.

Several Xiongan-related stocks also resumed trading on Monday, but their performances were mixed. Rigging and sling product maker Juli Sling sank by its allowable limit of 10% to 12.41 yuan in Shenzhen. Property developer China Fortune Land Development also lost 10% to 39.95 yuan in Shanghai. However, Beijing-based cement producer and property developer BBMG rose by its 10% limit to 9.1 yuan in Shanghai.

Fourteen Chinese companies were halted from share trading last week, citing the need to evaluate the potential impact from Xiongan, a new special economic zone that Beijing hopes to build in Hebei province, modelled on the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area. The Shanghai Stock Exchange also issued a statement warning investors against risks in Xiongan-related stocks.

India stocks drop for third day in a row

Key benchmark indices settled with small losses after a quiet session of trade amid lack of global cues as most world markets remained close for holiday. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, shed 47.79 points or 0.16% to settle at 29,413.66. The Nifty 50 index fell 11.50 points or 0.13% to settle at 9,139.30. The Sensex and the Nifty, both, hit their lowest closing levels in almost three-weeks. Realty stocks logged steep gains led by Indiabulls Real Estate. Bank and metal stocks dropped.

Metal and mining stocks fell after reports China, which produces half the worlds steel, churned out a record quantity in March as mills benefited from healthy margins, setting the scene for a subsequent decline in prices. Vedanta (down 3.2%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (down 0.89%), National Aluminium Company (down 0.28%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.89%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 0.9%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.06%), Tata Steel (down 0.42%), NMDC (down 1.35%), Hindustan Copper (down 0.15%) edged lower. JSW Steel (up 1.73%) rose.

L&T rose 0.14% after the company said that its construction L&T Construction has won orders worth Rs 2694 crore across various business segments. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.

Dr Reddys Laboratories gained 0.72% after the company announced that the audit of its API Srikakulam plant in Andhra Pradesh by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) was completed on Friday, 14 April 2017, with no observations. The announcement was made on Friday, 14 April 2017.

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China Stocks fall on anti-speculation crackdown
Apr 17,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed lower on Monday, 17 April 2017, as investors dumped stocks across the board after Chinese authorities promised to curb speculation and prevent investor misdeeds, shrugging off better-than-expected GDP data for first quarter. A flurry of economic data released on Monday morning, including better-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter, was largely priced in. Main sectors fell broadly led by real estate stocks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% or 23.9 points to end at 3,222.2. The large-cap CSI300 dropped 0.2% or 6.6 points to 3,479.9. The Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.7% lower to 10,450.9, and the startup board ChiNext index lost 1% to 1,868.3.

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Japan Stocks snap four-session losing streak
Apr 17,2017

The Japan share market finished session higher after recouping losses late afternoon on Monday, 17 April 2017, snapping four-session losing streak, supported by buying on dips by individual investors. Speculation about the Bank of Japans purchase of exchange-traded funds also helped push up the market. However, market topside was capped amid yens appreciation against the dollar and growing tensions on the Korean peninsula. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 19.63 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 18,355.26. The TOPIX index of all First Section issues finished up 6.62 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,465.69. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2177 to 868 and 289 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.23% to 23.03 a new 3-month high.

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Kong Kong financial market closed for official holiday
Apr 17,2017

Kong Kong stock market closed for trading on Monday, 17 April 2017.

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Australia financial market closed for official holiday
Apr 17,2017

Australia stock market closed for trading on Monday, 17 April 2017.

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US stocks drop for third consecutive day
Apr 17,2017

US stocks fell on Thursday, 13 April 2017 to close at session lows, cementing a three-day losing streak and a decline for the holiday-shortened week as investors dealt with the start of earnings season and intensifying geopolitical jitters. The U.S. dropping the largest nonnuclear weapon in its arsenal on a complex of caves in Afghanistan did little to encourage traders into a buying mood, with stocks extending losses after reports of the bombing mission.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 138.61 points, or 0.7%, to close at its session low at 20,453.25. The Nasdaq Composite fell 31.01 points, or 0.5%, to close at a session low of 5,805.15. The S&P 500 index dropped 15.98 points, or 0.7%, to its session low of 2,328.95. For the week, the Dow fell 1%, the S&P 500 dropped 1.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 1.2%.

11 of the indexs sectors finished lower, with energy and financial stocks among the largest decliners. Shares of Chevron and Caterpillar led declines.

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kicked off the earnings season on Thursday morning with some better than expected results. All three companies beat earnings expectations. Wells Fargos revenue fell short of forecasts, and the bank remains stuck in the spotlight for its recent sales-practices scandal. In the end, the financial sector finished the day solidly lower, but it was not the worst performing sector.

In recent days, trading has also been marked by concerns over the crisis in Syria and heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

In the latest economic data, weekly first-time jobless claims fell slightly in the latest week, dropping to 234,000. Separately, the producer-price index fell 0.1% in March, though core PPIn++which excludes food, energy, and traden++was up 0.1%.

Separately, a preliminary reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan also came in at a reading of 98 in April from 96.9 in March, better than Wall Street expectations.

Bullion prices ended higher at Comex on Thursday, 13 April 2017. Gold and silver prices notched their third straight session climb on Thursday, bolstered as the U.S. dollar fell.

June gold advanced by $10.40, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,288.50 an ounce, with prices ending at their highest level since Nov. 4. For the week, the yellow metal gained roughly 2.5%, based on last Fridays settlement. Silver for May delivery climbed 21 cents, or 1.2%, to $18.51 an ounce.

Those prices were pulled higher, while the U.S. dollar was pushed down against most rivals late Wednesday after President Trump reportedly told that the U.S. currency n++is getting too strongn++ and he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low. The dollar touched a five-month low against the yen. The ICE Dollar declined to a roughly two-week low after Trumps comment, though pared some of those losses by the time gold settled.

A weaker greenback tends to lift prices for dollar-denominated commodities as it makes them cheaper for holders of other currencies to buy.

Oil prices posted a slight gain on Thursday, 13 April 2017 at Nymex notching a third consecutive weekly advance, as traders continued to weigh the prospects and timing for a balance between supply and demand in the market.

On Thursday, data revealed that the number of active U.S. oil rigs has climbed for a 13th week in a row, feeding concerns over growth in domestic crude output.

Crude oil for May delivery rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $53.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled 1.8% above last Fridays finish. Brent for June added 3 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $55.89 a barreln++up about 1.2% for the week. Still, prices spent much of Thursday wavering between slight losses and gains.

Trading volumes were light on Thursday, in advance of market closures in observance of Good Friday, and ahead of Easter.

On Monday, participants will receive April Empire Manufacturing at 8:30 ET, the April NAHB Housing Price Index at 10:00 ET, and April Net Long-Term TIC Flows at 16:00 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks largely higher but geopolitical risks cap gains
Apr 12,2017

Headline equities of the Asia Pacific market closed mostly higher after recouping early losses late afternoon on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, as investors shifted toward riskier assets, with resources shares being major gainers on reports that Saudi Arabia was lobbying oil producers to extend an output cut.

Brent oil extended gains into an eighth straight session on Wednesday, having recovered nearly all last months losses, after Saudi Arabia was said to be pushing its fellow OPEC members and some rivals to prolong supply cuts beyond June.

However, the rising geopolitical woes curbed gains as investors mood was risk adverse on fears about growing tensions in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula. Traders were subdued as they watched developments following last weeks US strike on Syria and intensifying sabre-rattling by the United States and North Korea. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump warned that Washington was prepared to solve the problem of North Korea on its own if necessary as he and Pyongyang engaged in tit-for-tat comments that sent tensions soaring.

Trumps warning came as a US naval strike group headed towards the Korean peninsula, a show of force that prompted the nuclear-armed North to declare it was ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US.

North Korean state media warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Moscow on Tuesday to confront the Kremlin about its support for the government of Bashar al-Assad, amid US statements that Russia tried to cover up a chemical attack.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Shares hit fresh two-year high

Australian equity market finished session above the neutral line fourth straight session, thanks to modest strength in resources stocks and further gains in major banks, which helped to offset a slump in Telstra after a rival communications company unveiled plans to build a rival mobile network in the country. At the close, the benchmark SS&P/ASX 200 edged up 4.7 points, or 0.1%, to 5934.0--its highest close since late April 2015.

Financials extended gain, with all four big four banks closed in positive territory, led by a 1% gain by Australia & New Zealand Banking. Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 0.7%, National Australia Bank rose 0.6% and Westpac banking picked up 0.2%.

Shares of energy sector inclined as crude oil prices gained on expectations that major producers will curb more of their production, helped lift the energy sector. Woodside Petroleum was up 0.3% and Oil Search ahead by 0.8%.

Material stocks were mixed. Among the miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively, but Newcrest Mining was 1.6% higher as gold producers benefited from a rise in gold prices to fresh five-month highs in Asian trading amid geopolitical concerns.

Telstra dropped 7.5%, the biggest single drag on the ASX 200, after TPG Telecom said it had acquired mobile spectrum and planned to roll out a network that would challenge the incumbent operators.

Japan Stocks fall on stronger yen, geopolitical tensions

The Japan share market finished session steep down, with investor sentiment dragged down by the yens rise against the dollar amid growing geopolitical tensions. Stocks met with selling almost across the board from the outset of Wednesdays trading, after U.S. equities fell overnight with investors risk appetite dissipated by U.S. President Donald Trumps tweet suggesting the possibilities of a unilateral action against North Korea and an additional strike against Syria. The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 195.26 points, or 1.04%, to close at 18,552.61, hitting its lowest finish since Dec. 7 last year. The TOPIX index of all first-section issues ended down 15.56 points, or 1.04%, at 1,479.54, after falling 4.55 points the previous day.

Exporter-led issues dented by the yens continued strength against the US dollar. The dollar was trading below 110 yen for the first time since November, changing hands at 109.50 yen Wednesday morning against 109.65 yen in New York on Tuesday afternoon and 110.66 yen in Tokyo earlier. A stronger yen is seen as a negative for Japans exporters as it can dent their profitability by reducing the value of overseas earnings.

On the economic news front- Japan Mar Producer Prices up 1.4% : The monthly corporate goods price index (CGPI) from the Bank of Japan released on Wednesday, showing the index of domestic producer prices rose 1.4% on year in March, the third consecutive gain. The CGPI rose a revised 1.1% in February and 0.5% in January, which was the first rise in 22 months. On month, the CGPI rose 0.2% in March, the fifth straight rise after a revised +0.3% in February. Japans CGPI was down 2.3% on year in fiscal 2016, compared with a drop of 3.2% in fiscal 2015.

China Stocks fall on profit booking, softer PPI data

The Mainland China equity market closed lower, as investors elected to book recent gains after softer producer inflation data raised questions on the sustainability of the countrys economic recovery and some shares that had rallied on plans for a new economic zone lost steam. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5% to 3,273.8 while the CSI 300, which tracks large companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, was down 0.2% to 3,509.4. The Shenzhen Component index lost 0.6% to 10,587.3 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was down 1.1% to 1,897.5.

Chinas producer price inflation (PPI) cooled for the first time in seven months in March as iron ore and coal prices tumbled, pressured by fears that the countrys steel production is outweighing demand and threatening a glut of the metal this year. The Producer Price Index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, rose 7.6%, 0.2 percentage points slower than Februarys 7.8%, which was a eight-year record.

Meanwhile, consumer inflation warmed up slightly in March. The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 0.9% year on year in March, 0.1 percentage points higher than February, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

Defence stocks continued to rise, while investors cheered news that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying will start his three-day visit next week in Guangdong province to study the performance of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area. Most of the shares related to that area rose. Shenzhen Yan Tian Port Holding surged 10% to 10.98 yuan. Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings, Guangdong Shirongzhaoye and Zhuhai Port Co all climbed by the maximum daily 10% limit.

Most listed lenders sagged after the banking regulator told lenders to conduct self-inspections in areas such as using loopholes to circumvent rules, in order to reduce leverage. The move will potentially hurt banks balance sheet.

Stocks related to Xiongan New Area were mixed. Tianjin Port closed 10% lower while cement maker BBMG Corp continued its winning streak to end 10% up for a sixth consecutive day.

Hong Kong Stocks gain as concerns over North Korea abate

The Hong Kong stock market closed session higher after recouping losses during late afternoon trade, on easing concerns about geopolitical tensions in North Korea after Chinas President reportedly called for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean security crisis in a phone call to his American counterpart Donald Trump on Wednesday. The benchmark index opened down 19 points at 24,068. It fell as much as 94 points to an intra-day low of 23,994. But buying orders of market heavyweights help push the market higher in afternoon session. The Hang Seng Index ended up 225 points or 0.9% to 24,313. The H-share index rose 42 points or 0.4% to 10,208. Turnover decreased to HK$71.8 billion from HK$76.8 billion on Tuesday.

Tencent Holdings, the most traded blue chip, surged 2.7 per cent to close at a new high of HK$231. China Construction Bank surged 0.5 per cent to HK$6.2 and HSBC Holdings gained 0.8 per cent to HK$64.2, its best level since mid March. Geely Automobile Holdings was the best performer among blue chips, rising 3.7 per cent to HK$10.7.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the central government in 2017 would study and set up development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. Zhuhai Holdings Investment (00908) surged 9.3% to HK$1.29. Chu Kong Shipping (00560) climbed 3.5% to HK$2.07. Shenzhen International (00152) soared 4.2% to HK$13. Shenzhen Investment (00604) surged 7.9% to HK$3.71.

Sensex, Nifty close with modest losses

Indian benchmark indices suffered modest losses amid volatile session of trade ahead of the release of key domestic economic data later in the day. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 144.87 points or 0.49% to settle at 29,643.48. The Nifty 50 index shed 33.55 points or 0.36% to settle at 9,203.45.

Stocks of public sector banks declined. Stocks of private sector banks were mixed. Shares of power generation and power distribution companies edged lower. IT major Infosys edged higher ahead of its Q4 March 2017 results tomorrow, 13 April 2017. Vedanta and Cairn India advanced after Vedanta and Cairn India announced that the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta pursuant to the scheme of arrangement has become effective.

Tata Power Company rose 0.06% in volatile trade after the company announced that the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, conveyed its judgment on the Compensatory Tariff mailer on the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP). The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 April 2017.

Wipro declined 1.76%. The company said it has completed the acquisition of Brazilian IT service provider InfoSERVER. The impact of the buyout will reflect in the financials of the company from the Q1 June 2017, it added. In January this year, Wipro signed an agreement to acquire InfoSERVER, an IT service provider focused on the Brazilian market for $8.7 million. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 April 2017.

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Japan Stocks fall on stronger yen, geopolitical tensions
Apr 12,2017

The Japan share market finished session steep down on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, with investor sentiment dragged down by the yens rise against the dollar amid growing geopolitical tensions. Stocks met with selling almost across the board from the outset of Wednesdays trading, after U.S. equities fell overnight with investors risk appetite dissipated by U.S. President Donald Trumps tweet suggesting the possibilities of a unilateral action against North Korea and an additional strike against Syria. The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 195.26 points, or 1.04%, to close at 18,552.61, hitting its lowest finish since Dec. 7 last year. The TOPIX index of all first-section issues ended down 15.56 points, or 1.04%, at 1,479.54, after falling 4.55 points the previous day.

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Australia Shares hit fresh two-year high
Apr 12,2017

Australian equity market finished session above the neutral line fourth straight session on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, thanks to modest strength in resources stocks and further gains in major banks, which helped to offset a slump in Telstra after a rival communications company unveiled plans to build a rival mobile network in the country. At the close, the benchmark SS&P/ASX 200 edged up 4.7 points, or 0.1%, to 5934.0--its highest close since late April 2015.

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China Stocks fall on profit booking, softer PPI data
Apr 12,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed lower on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, as investors elected to book recent gains after softer producer inflation data raised questions on the sustainability of the countrys economic recovery and some shares that had rallied on plans for a new economic zone lost steam. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5% to 3,273.8 while the CSI 300, which tracks large companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, was down 0.2 cent to 3,509.4. The Shenzhen Component index lost 0.6% to 10,587.3 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was down 1.1% to 1,897.5.

Chinas producer price inflation (PPI) cooled for the first time in seven months in March as iron ore and coal prices tumbled, pressured by fears that the countrys steel production is outweighing demand and threatening a glut of the metal this year. The Producer Price Index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, rose 7.6%, 0.2 percentage points slower than Februarys 7.8%, which was a eight-year record.Meanwhile, consumer inflation warmed up slightly in March. The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 0.9% year on year in March, 0.1 percentage points higher than February, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain as concerns over North Korea abate
Apr 12,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed session higher after recouping losses during late afternoon trade on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, on easing concerns about geopolitical tensions in North Korea after Chinas President reportedly called for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean security crisis in a phone call to his American counterpart Donald Trump on Wednesday. The benchmark index opened down 19 points at 24,068. It fell as much as 94 points to an intra-day low of 23,994. But buying orders of market heavyweights help push the market higher in afternoon session. The Hang Seng Index ended up 225 points or 0.9% to 24,313. The H-share index rose 42 points or 0.4% to 10,208. Turnover decreased to HK$71.8 billion from HK$76.8 billion on Tuesday.

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