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Asia Pacific market: Stocks end mixed on final day of 2016
Dec 30,2016

Asia Pacific share market ended mixed in thin pre-holiday trading on final trading day of 2016 (Friday, 30 December 2016), tracking a weak lead from Wall Street overnight. But, Asian stocks looked set to end 2016 on an upbeat note, with the benchmark headed for its first annual gain in three years, while the dollar reversed earlier losses and oil was poised to record its biggest gains in seven years.

In a year marked by major political shocks, including Brexit in June and the unexpected election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November, Asia Pacific ex-Japan stocks were poised to record a 3.8% gain.

For the year, Chinas Shenzhen composite was Asias worst-performing index, down nearly 15%, while Pakistans Karachi All-Share Index was the biggest winner with gains of 45%. Thailands SET Index has soared 20% in 2016, meanwhile Indonesias Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index has jumped 16% and Taiwans Taiex rose 11%. Japans Nikkei eked out a modest 0.4% gain. Indias Sensex has gained 1.95% in calendar year 2016. Australias ASX 200 ended the year with a 7% gain, while New Zealands benchmark index closed out 2016 with a near 9% gain. Hong Kongs Hang Seng index finished 2016 with a 0.4% rise.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market ends down

Australian share market ended down on last trading session of calendar year 2016, pulled down by poor performances in financial and basic material stocks, but having their best quarter this year and their best yearly run since 2013. At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 3.30 points, or 0.58%, to 5665.80, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 27.60 points, or 0.48%, to close at 5719.10. On the year, the Australian index gained 4.2%.

Shares of gold miners rallied after the precious metal notched up its fourth day of gains, its longest winning streak in over three months. Newcrest Mining advanced 5.1%, while smaller peers Evolution Mining jumped 10%.

Mining stocks were down as investors took the opportunity to cash in on recent gains after as the iron ore price slipped a little on Thursday night to $US80.43/tonne. The big diversified miners such as BHP and Rio Tinto traded lower by 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively, while Fortescue shed 1.7%.

Oil producers came under selling pressure after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday that crude stockpiles grew 614,000 barrels, confounding earlier expectations for a 1.4-million-barrel decline. The EIA report contributed to light, sweet crude for February delivery settling down 29 cents, or 0.5%, at US$53.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For Brent, the global benchmark, the front-month February contract expired at settlement. The more-actively-traded March contract lost 11 cents, or 0.19%, to US$56.85 a barrel. Woodside Petroleum dropped 1.8%, while Oil Search ended unchanged at A$7.17.

Nikki drop on weak Wall St, strong yen

The Japan share market closed lower in light trading, on taking its downward lead from the US overnight, but still hit a 20-year closing high for the final trading session of the calendar year 2016 on optimism over the incoming US government. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 30.77 points, or 0.16%, from Thursday at 19,114.37. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 0.22 points, or 0.01%, higher at 1,518.61. The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.42% at 19,114.37 in 2016, marking the fifth consecutive annual increase and highest year-end finish since 1996 when it ended at 19,361.35. The broader Topix index lost 1.85%, snapping four years of gains. The Japan financial market is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday after the long holiday weekend.

Japanese stocks have surged since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office, with the Nikkei hitting an almost two-decade high in June 2015, on hopes his Abenomics policies of monetary stimulus, fiscal expansion and structural reform would end decades of deflation and stagnation. Attention has since shifted to U.S. politics and economic growth, after President-elect Donald Trumps surprising victory last month.

Exporters stocks were down as the yen strengthened slightly against greenback. Among key Japanese exporters, Honda Motor dropped 0.8%, Nissan Motor fell 0.4% and Sony declined 0.7%.

Among individual movers - Shares in troubled Toshiba jumped 9.43% to 283.1 yen following a three-day bloodletting, losing some 40%, on over expectations of a massive one-time loss. The company this week warned of a possible loss of several billion dollars in its US nuclear business but said the exact figure had yet to be determined, which fuelled investor anxiety.

Auto parts maker Takata surged 21.21% to 857 yen, adding to a 16.47% jump the day before after news it is close to settling a US criminal probe into an exploding airbag scandal.

China Stocks rise slightly

Mainland China stock market saw a slight upturn on the last trading day of 2016, due to bargain buying on recently battered stocks, but this didnt help it to rebound from a loss of over 110% this year. The blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, rose 0.38% to 3,430.25, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.45% to 3,210.37 points. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, added 0.15% to 1,969.11. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, jumped 0.14% to close at 1,962.06 points.

The CSI 300 Index ended the year with a 10.37% loss. The Shanghai Composite index ended trading 12.46% down in 2016, while the Shenzhen Composite tumbled 14.72% this year.

This was a major decline compared to the markets 2015 performance when the Shanghai Composite skyrocketed 60% in the first half before plummeting more than 40% in less than three months, nevertheless, it closed the year with an overall gain of 9.4%. After the fall, Beijing introduced a circuit breaker mechanism in January 2016 to automatically stop trading if prices fell dramatically. It was used twice in one week before being scrapped.

Hong Kong Stocks up 0.96%

The Hong Kong stock market closed up on the last trading day of 2016, but the main indexes ended 2016 near where they started after a volatile 12 months. All sectors in Hong Kong gained ground on Friday, with the raw materials and services sectors among the best performers. Hong Kongs benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 209.65 points, or 0.96%, higher at 22,000.56. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, added 82.11 points, 0.88%, to 9,394.87. For the whole year, the index gained 86 points. Turnover increased to HK$53.8 billion from HK$52.5 billion on Thursday.

Macau gaming players gained broadly after news reported that Macau is ready to launch the junket credit database next month. Galaxy Ent (00027) put on 2.27% to HK$33.8 while Wynn Macau (01128) climbed 1.31% to HK$12.34. MGM China (02282) shot up 8.94% to HK$16.08. SJM Holdings (00880) rose 3.05% to HK$6.08 while Sands China (01928) gained 1.66% to HK$33.7.

Lenovo (00992) gained 1.51% to HK$4.7 after Nomura maintained its neutral rating for the stock. For the whole year, Lenovo fell nearly 40%, making itself the top blue-chip loser.

Sensex, Nifty end 2016 trading with gains

Indian benchmark indices registered modest gains on the last trading day of the week and the calendar year 2016 on steady buying in index pivotals especially ITC and Infosys. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, gained 260.31 points or 0.99% to settle at 26,626.46. The Nifty 50 index gained 82.20 points or 1.01% to settle at 8,185.80. Meanwhile, the Sensex has fallen 26.35 points or 0.1% in December 2016. It has gained 508.92 points or 1.95% in calendar year 2016.

Data showed that domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 957.83 crore yesterday, 29 December 2016, as per provisional data. The foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 662.29 crore yesterday, 29 December 2016, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

Yes Bank rose 0.65% after the bank said it has raised Rs 330 crore of Green Infrastructure Bonds through private placement. The tenure of the instrument is 7 years. The date of allotment is 29 December 2016 and the date of maturity is 29 December 2023. The interest offered is 7.62% per annum.

RS Software (India) rose 1.91% after the company said it made further investment in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Paypermint by acquiring 59 lakh equity shares for Rs 5.90 crore. RS Software (India) holds 75% stake in Paypermint.

GE Power India jumped 5.34% after the company said it has secured a contract worth about Rs 271.1 crore from Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) to supply components and services for the supercritical steam generator island packages.

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Nikki drop on weak Wall St, strong yen
Dec 30,2016

The Japan share market closed at three-week low in light trading on Friday, 30 December 2016, on taking its downward lead from the US overnight, but still hit a 20-year closing high for the final trading session of the calendar year 2016 on optimism over the incoming US government. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 30.77 points, or 0.16%, from Thursday at 19,114.37. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 0.22 points, or 0.01%, higher at 1,518.61. The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.42% at 19,114.37 in 2016, marking the fifth consecutive annual increase and highest year-end finish since 1996 when it ended at 19,361.35. The broader Topix index lost 1.85%, snapping four years of gains. The Japan financial market is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday after the long holiday weekend.

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China Stocks rise slightly
Dec 30,2016

Mainland China stock market saw a slight upturn on the last trading day of 2016 (Friday, 30 December 2016), due to bargain buying on recently battered stocks, but this didnt help it to rebound from a loss of over 110 percent this year. The blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, rose 0.38% to 3,430.25, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.45% to 3,210.37 points. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, added 0.15% to 1,969.11. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, jumped 0.14% to close at 1,962.06 points. The CSI 300 Index ended the year with a 10.37% loss. The Shanghai Composite index ended trading 12.46% down in 2016, while the Shenzhen Composite tumbled 14.72% this year.

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Hong Kong Stocks up 0.96%
Dec 30,2016

The Hong Kong stock market closed up on the last trading day of 2016 (Friday, 30 December 2016), but the main indexes ended 2016 near where they started after a volatile 12 months. All sectors in Hong Kong gained ground on Friday, with the raw materials and services sectors among the best performers. Hong Kongs benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 209.65 points, or 0.96%, higher at 22,000.56. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, added 82.11 points, 0.88%, to 9,394.87. For the whole year, the index gained 86 points. Turnover increased to HK$53.8 billion from HK$52.5 billion on Thursday.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed on weak offshore cues
Dec 29,2016

Asia Pacific share market settled on a mixed note in thin trading on Thursday, 29 December 2016, on tracking Wall Street losses overnight due to weak U.S. home resales data. Trading has been thin across the globe during the last week of the year.

The pullback on Wall Street came amid light volumes and likely reflected caution about what the New Year might bring, given Wednesday was the first session when trades actually settle in January. The Dow fell 0.56%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.84% and the Nasdaq 0.89%.

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell in November to their lowest level in nearly a year, which was seen by many as a sign that rising interest rates could be weighing on the housing market. the Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.5% to 107.3 in November from 110 in October, data released by National Association of Realtors showed yesterday, 28 December 2016.

In commodity markets, oil came off the boil after data showed a surprise build in US crude inventories. US crude eased 42 cents to $53.64 a barrel, while Brent was last quoted down 16 cents at $55.93.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market surges to 17 month peak

Australian share market finished slight higher, achieving a 17 months peak after reversing early weakness, with the Gold, Metals & Mining, and Financial sectors led shares higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.25% to 5,699.1 points, its highest close since July 31, 2015. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 567 to 374 and 295 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 0.04% to 12.164.

Shares of Gold miners were the best performers after a rise in the precious metals price, with Newcrest Mining adding 3.4% to A$19.26, Northern Star jumping 5.1% to A$3.48, and Evolution Mining gaining 5.2% to A$1.93. Mining stocks were also higher, with Rio Tinto up 56 cents to A$60.74 and BHP Billiton up 6.0 cents to A$25.50.

The property sector weighed on the market, with GPT Group dropping 2.4% to A$4.97, Mirvac shedding 2.3% to A$2.13, and Stockland losing 2.6% to A$4.53.

Woolworths continued to rise after announcing the sale of its petrol business to BP, adding 18 cents to A$24.49, while Coles owner Wesfarmers was 27 cents stronger at A$42.80.

Nikki drop to near three-week low

The Japan share market closed a near three-week low, as risk sentiments dragged down by tracking Wall Street losses overnight and an stronger yen that dragged down export-oriented names. The 225-issue Nikkei average dropped 256.58 points, or 1.32%, to close at 19,145.14. The Topix index of all first-section issues ended down 18.41 points, or 1.20%, at 1,518.39.

The higher yen took a toll on export-oriented names, including automakers Toyota, Fuji Heavy and Mazda, camera maker Canon, industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc and electronic parts supplier Murata Manufacturing.

Financial issues, such as mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui, insurers Dai-ichi Life and Tokio Marine and brokerage firm Nomura, met with selling after their U.S. peers went down in New York on Wednesday.

Toshiba Corp.s shares plunged 17%, their third straight day of double-digit losses after the company said it anticipates huge losses related to its acquisition of Chicago Bridge & Iron.

Shares of Takata Corp., the Japanese air bag manufacturer at the center of a massive recall, surged 16% amid speculation that it will reach a settlement as soon as next month with U.S. authorities on criminal charges related to its air bag troubles.

China Stocks end tad lower

Mainland China stock market closed lower, with optimism spurred by fading liquidity stress overshadowed by continued wary about the prospect of regulatory measures to curb aggressive investment in stocks by insurers. Sector performance was mixed on the mainland, with gains in infrastructure stocks offsetting losses in property stocks. The blue-chip CSI300 index dipped 0.1% to 3,297.76, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,096.10 points.

The market found some solace from progress made to avoid defaults resulting from a recent bond scandal. Sealand Securities said on Thursday it had signed agreements with 19 counterparties to resolve the n++forgedn++ bond dispute. But investors stayed cautious following news that the insurance regulator planned to establish a discriminatory supervision system that would keep a closer watch on some unconventional insurance products, in the latest move to rein in aggressive stock investment.

BlueFocus Communication rose 10% after forecasting 2016 net income that beat analyst estimates.

PetroChina Co. fell for the fourth time in five days in Shanghai trading but remains up more than 4% in December as oil climbed to an 18-month high.

Indonesian shares ends up 2%

Indonesian share market ended up as much as 1.96%, a highest since Nov. 11, helped by financial and consumer stocks, after government promises to provide significant yields next year due to improvement of their fundamentals.

Bank Central Asia, the biggest bank by market value, ended 4.24% higher while automaker Astra International rose 3.83%.

HSI ends up 36 pts

The Hong Kong stock market closed up, as strength in tech stocks outweighed the bearish hint from Wall Street, where stocks lost the most in two months overnight. The market also got support from mainland investors, who spent 3.7 billion yuan buying Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connector scheme. The Hang Seng Index ended up 36 points to 21,790. The H-share index also rose 12 points to 9,312. Turnover increased to HK$52.5 billion from HK$51.5 billion on Wednesday.

Market heavyweights were mixed. China Mobile (00941) nudged up 0.49% to HK$81.45, while HSBC (00005) was unchanged at HK$61.95. Tencent Holding was up 2.2% to HK$187.6, after tech giant statement on Wednesday that the long-awaited Little Program feature of its popular messaging application WeChat would go live on Jan. 9.

Chinas Ministry of Commerce said it will continue boosting auto sales next year. Brilliance China (01114) gained 1.92% to HK$10.62 while BYD Company (01211) rose 1.85% to HK$41.2. Geely Auto (00175) dipped 1.76% to HK$7.25.

Singapore Market ends 0.3% lower

Singapore share market closed 0.3% lower, dragged by financial and industrial stocks. The governments advance estimate of fourth-quarter GDP is due on Tuesday next week.

The biggest losers on the benchmark index were Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd, down 3.9% to its lowest close in a month, and Singapore Technologies Engineering, down 1.2%.

Sensex, Nifty hit over one-week closing high

Indian stock market end higher due to sudden spurts in buying at the fag end of the trading as December derivatives contracts expired today amid recovery in the rupee. Subdued trend seen in Asian markets after Wall Street suffered a mild setback capped the gains. The Sensex rose 155.47 points or 0.59% to settle at 26,366.15, its highest closing level since 19 December 2016. The Nifty rose 68.75 points or 0.86% to settle at 8,103.60, its highest closing level since 19 December 2016.

IFCI surged 13% after Indias biggest bourse NSE filed its draft prospectus for a Rs 10,000-crore Initial Public Offer (IPO) of equity with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

IRB Infrastructure Developers rose over 2% after the company said it received letter of award from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for six-laning of 90 km stretch of National Highway (NH) 79A and NH 79 in Rajasthan.

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) surged 18% ahead of its listing on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday.

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Hong Kong Market ends up 36 points
Dec 29,2016

The Hong Kong stock market closed up on Thursday, 29 December 2016, as strength in tech stocks outweighed the bearish hint from Wall Street, where stocks lost the most in two months overnight. The market also got support from mainland investors, who spent 3.7 billion yuan buying Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connector scheme. The Hang Seng Index ended up 36 points to 21,790. The H-share index also rose 12 points to 9,312. Turnover increased to HK$52.5 billion from HK$51.5 billion on Wednesday.

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Nikki drop to near three-week low
Dec 29,2016

The Japan share market closed a near three-week low on Thursday, 29 December 2016, as risk sentiments dragged down by tracking Wall Street losses overnight and an stronger yen that dragged down export-oriented names. The 225-issue Nikkei average dropped 256.58 points, or 1.32%, to close at 19,145.14. The Topix index of all first-section issues ended down 18.41 points, or 1.20%, at 1,518.39.

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China Stocks end tad lower
Dec 29,2016

Mainland China stock market closed lower on Thursday, 29 December 2016, with optimism spurred by fading liquidity stress overshadowed by continued wary about the prospect of regulatory measures to curb aggressive investment in stocks by insurers. Sector performance was mixed on the mainland, with gains in infrastructure stocks offsetting losses in property stocks. The blue-chip CSI300 index dipped 0.1% to 3,297.76, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,096.10 points.

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Australia Market gains to 17 month peak
Dec 29,2016

Australian share market finished slight higher on Thursday, 29 December 2016, achieving a 17 months peak after reversing early weakness, with the Gold, Metals & Mining, and Financial sectors led shares higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.25% to 5,699.1 points, its highest close since July 31, 2015. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 567 to 374 and 295 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 0.04% to 12.164.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks up on rising risk appetite
Dec 28,2016

Asia Pacific share market mostly up on Wednesday, 28 December 2016, helped by positive cues from the Wall Street overnight on strong U.S. housing and consumer data and higher commodity prices. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.4% to 134.77.

Overnight, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to a fresh record high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed in on the key 20,000-point mark on robust data and hopes that President-elect Donald Trumps corporate tax cuts and economic stimulus will boost the worlds biggest economy. Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose to 113.7 in December, its highest reading since August 2001, according to data released on Tuesday, up from a revised 109.4 in November.

Crude oil prices remained firm on Wednesday on expectations of tighter supply, as the first output cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 15 years takes effect on Sunday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February rose 31 cents, or 0.6%, to $54.21 a barrel. February Brent crude on Londons ICE Futures exchange climbed 34 cents, or 0.6%, to $56.42 a barrel.

Most market participants are waiting to see if major oil producers inside and outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will deliver on pledges to curtail production beginning next month. The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market surges to 17 month peak

Australian share market finished at highest in nearly 17 months, after a four-day weekend, led by a rally among commodities stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 1%, or 57.05 points, higher at 5,685, the highest close since Aug 4, 2015. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 666 to 319 and 272 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 15.42% to 12.169.

Shares of metal mining players registered the strongest gains on tracking jump in commodity prices, particularly copper and iron ore. Fortescue Metals gained 3.5% toA$5.97, while Rio Tinto rose 2.4% to A$60.17 and BHP Billiton, which has significant oil exposure, rose 3.3% to A$25.44.

Oil and gas producers were stronger on the back of firmer crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum eased marginally 0.03% to A$31.67, while Oil Search climbed 1.4% to A$7.06, Santos 2.3% to A$4.04, and origin Energy 0.9% to A$6.50.

Woolworths shares rose by 1.9% to A$24.31 after the supermarket giants announced it will sell its 527 petrol stations to oil major BP - subject to ACCC approval - in a $1.8 billion deal. Caltex Australia, which failed in its bid for the Woolworths outlets, dropped 2% to A$29.99.

Japan Stocks end mixed

The Japan share market closed mixed after wavering between trading positive and negative, as mixed Japanese industrial production and retail sales data dented investors sentiment. Total 21 out of 33 TSE industry category on the main section gained ground, with Nonferrous Metals, Iron & Steel, Machinery, Marine Transportation, and Metal Products issues being major gainers, while Rubber Products, Textiles & Apparels, Foods, and Pharmaceutical issues being notable losers. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.01%, or 1.34 points, to 19,401.72. A broader Topix index of all first-section issues gained 0.58 points, or 0.04%, to 1536.80.

Shares in Toshiba Corp. tumbled 20% after the company disclosed that overrun costs at its U.S. nuclear reactors under construction will likely lead to several billion dollars worth of write downs.

Shares of Hitachi Koki surged 16%, following a report that industrial power tool maker parent Hitachi gave U.S. private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts preferential negotiating rights to buy its Hitachi Koki unit.

The Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has released preliminary retail sales data on Wednesday, showing retail sales rose 1.7% on year in November, marking the first rise in nine months after drop of 0.2% in October and fall of 1.7% in September. The rebound prompted the government to revise up its assessment of retail sales which have been depressed amid uncertainty over economic growth and slow wage hikes. Retail sales rose 0.2% on month in November on a seasonally adjusted basis for the third straight gain after surging 2.5% in October.

The Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has released preliminary industrial production data on Wednesday, showing Industrial production up 1.5% from the previous month in November. It was the first rise in two months after being flat (revised from +0.1%) in October and +0.6% in September. METI forecasted a factory output growth of 2% on month in December 2017 (revised up from -0.6% projected last month) and growth of 2.2% in January 2017.

China Stocks end lower

Mainland China stock market closed lower in light trading, as tightening liquidity towards the year-end weighed on volumes. Meanwhile, the regulators latest measures to curb big investment in the stock market by insurance companies also weighed on sentiments. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.4% to 3,102.24 while the CSI 300 Index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, closed 0.44% lower at 3,301.89. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, slid 0.37% to 1,972.35. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, fell 0.58% to close at 1,957.16 points.

Investors concerns about market tighter liquidity reignited after the Peoples Bank of China, through a series of open market operations, withdrew CNY60 billion of capital on Wednesday, the third consecutive net drain this week, resulting in a total net drain of CNY280 billion week to date.

Investor confidence was shaken by Wednesdays media reports that the vice chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) had said insurers were not platforms to enrich speculators. Also on Wednesday, CIRC said it had suspended two insurers from online insurance business and ordered them not to apply for new product approvals for three months - the latest move to put insurers under closer supervision.

All sectors in China stepped back, with the biggest declines seen in infrastructure and property shares, both down around 1%. Strength in commodities helped offset some bearish sentiment towards raw materials and energy shares, with rebar and coke futures soaring around 5% and 7% respectively.

Hong Kong Stocks up 0.8%

The Hong Kong stock market closed up, after having enjoyed long Christmas holiday, helped by tracking overnight gains on Wall Street and a surge in China-related shares. Hong Kongs benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 0.83% higher at 21,754.74. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, added 1.29% to 9,300.63. Turnover increased to HK$51.5 billion from HK$50.4 billion on Friday. Markets were closed on Monday and Tuesday for Christmas holidays.

Market heavyweights were mixed. China Mobile (00941) rose 0.68% to HK$81.05, while HSBC (00005) dipped 0.4% to HK$61.95.

Chinese banks gained broadly after a CBRC official proposed RRR cut at an appropriate time. CCB (00939) surged 4.8% to HK$5.89, making itself the top blue-chip gainer. ICBC (01398) put on 1.11% to HK$4.54. Bank of China (03988) gained 1.19% to HK$3.39 while ABC (01288) rose 0.96% to HK$3.16.

Tencent (00700) gained 2.17% to HK$183.6 after the internet group, Chinese digital mapping company NavInfo and Singapores sovereign wealth fund GIC agreed to buy a 10% stake in mapping company HERE.

Sensex, Nifty close flat

Indian market washed out earlier gains to finish almost flat today due to fag-end selling pressure from operators ahead of the expiry of futures and options December contract on Thursday. The Sensex fell 2.76 points or 0.01% to settle at 26,210.68, its lowest level since 26 December 2016. The Nifty 50 index rose 2 points or 0.02% to settle at 8,034.85, its highest closing level since 21 December 2016.

The market sentiment was boosted initially after data showed that domestic institutional investors made substantial purchases of Indian stocks on Tuesday. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1502.41 crore on Tuesday as per provisional data while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 712.17 crore Tuesday.

Pharma shares extended yesterdays gains as the rupee continued to weaken against the dollar. A weak rupee boosts the value of overseas earnings of pharma firms in local terms. Pharma companies derive substantial revenue from exports. Aurobindo Pharma (up 1.33%), Cipla (up 0.11%), Dr Reddys Laboratories (up 0.9%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.82%), Lupin (up 0.63%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.16%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.76%), and Wockhardt (up 0.77%) gained. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.43%) fell.

Cadila Healthcare rose 0.2% after the company issued clarification with regard to media reports of receiving warning letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration. Cadila Healthcare in its clarification issued to the stock exchanges during market hours today, 28 December 2016, said that Zydus Discovery DMCC, a 100% subsidiary of Cadila Healthcare has received an untitled letter and not a warning letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), as being projected in media reports.

Bharti Infratel rose 2.31% to Rs 339.30 on reports that a foreign brokerage has upgraded the stock to neutral from underperform. The foreign brokerage reportedly said though Bharti Infratel continues to face headwinds in the near term including headwinds from increased competition and consolidation by mobile operators, the risk-reward is more balanced after recent underperformance.

South Korea stocks fall 0.87%

South Korea share market declined, with the Kospi down 0.87% or 17.68 points at 2,024.49, as the east Asian country remains mired in a complicated political crisis, involving President Park Geun-hye who has been impeached. On Wednesday morning, the special prosecution investigation team arrested the National Pension Service chairman, Moon Hyung-pyo, but did not provide further details. In November, two presidential aides were arrested for being involved in a corruption scandal.

Singapore shares close 0.4% up

Singapore share market ended stronger, with the Straits Times Index advancing 0.4%, or 12.54 points, to 2,898.3. The blue-chip index was boosted after a recovery in oil prices and post-Christmas holiday cheer on Wall Street.

The most actively traded counter was Noble Group, which rose S$0.007 to S$0.169 with 121.2 million shares changing hands. Other actives included Ezra Holdings and Equation Summit.

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Marginal gains for US stocks in thinly traded session
Dec 28,2016

U.S. stocks rose in a thinly traded session on Tuesday, 26 December 2016 with the Nasdaq hitting its latest in a series of records as the markets recent upward bias continued, helped by a gain in technology shares. Overall, stocks saw a broad but slight advance, with all but two of the S&P 500s 11 primary sectors higher on the day. Retail stocks were in focus as investors looked to the first reads on the strength of the holiday shopping season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, or 11.23 points, to end at 19,945.04, while the S&P 500 advanced 5.09 points, or 0.2%, to 2,268.88 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 24.75 points to settle at 5,487.44, a gain of 0.5%.

Nine of eleven sectors finished the day in positive territory with technology underpinning things from the start. The top-weighted group rallied behind Apple and high-beta chipmakers. NVIDIA soared 6.9%, extending its 2016 gain to 256.0%.

The final trading week of the year is typically a quiet one, with light trading and few planned news eventsn++such as central bank announcements or corporate earningsn++to dictate market direction. Many traders were out of the office following the Christmas holiday, for which the equity market was closed on Monday, while others are waiting for the new year to make big portfolio changes.

The bulk of todays action took place during the opening minutes as the key indices charged to session highs. The opening rally was followed by a slow intraday drip from those highs. The Dow surrendered the bulk of its early gain while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq spent the afternoon near the middle of their respective ranges.

In the latest economic data, the S&P Case-Shiller index of home prices climbed 0.6% in October and was up 5.1% in the past year, unchanged from the prior month. Consumer confidence in December jumped to 113.7 from a revised 109.4 in November, hitting its highest level since 2001.

Among Tuesdays biggest movers, retailers Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores were in focus amid postholiday Christmas shopping as the first.

Bullion prices ended higher at Comex on Tuesday, 26 December 2016. Gold prices closed at just over one-week highs on Tuesday, recovering after ending with a seventh straight weekly decline before the holiday weekend, their longest such losing streak in more than 12 years.

Gold futures for February delivery finished up $5.10, or 0.5%, at $1,138.70 an ounce in light volume. Gold firmed even as the dollar advanced modestly, defying their typically inverse relationship. March silver was up 24 cents, or 1.5%, at $16.00 an ounce. Last week, the metal slid 2.4%, for its second week of losses.

Crude futures continued their end-of-year rally on Tuesday, 26 December 2016 taking oil to its highest finish since July 2015 on expectations that global oil producers will honor a landmark agreement to reduce supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February advanced 88 cents, or 1.7%, to finish at $53.90 a barrel. February Brent crude on Londons ICE Futures exchange rose 93 cents, or 1.7%, to close at $56.09 a barrel.

Treasuries slipped in morning action and spent the afternoon near their lows. The 10-yr yield rose two basis points to 2.56%.

Tomorrow, the weekly MBA Mortgage Index will be released at 7:00 ET while November Pending Home Sales will be reported at 10:00 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks tread water
Dec 27,2016

Asia Pacific share market mostly higher in thin trade on Tuesday, 27 December 2016, with lack of overseas cues left many investors remain on the sideline. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was marginally higher, with Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong remain shut while those in the US and the UK will resume trading after the Christmas break.

In commodities, oil prices were steady, as markets took a wait-and-see approach to output cuts by both OPEC and non-OPEC producers that are due to start in less than a week. US crude added 0.1% to $US53.10 a barrel. Global benchmark Brent slipped 0.1% to $US55.10.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei ends tad higher

The Japan share market closed marginally higher in quiet trade. Total 18 out of 33 TSE industry category on the main section gained ground, with Rubber Products, Marine Transportation, Financial Business, Pharmaceutical, and Banks issues being major gainers, while Real Estate, Pulp & Paper, Construction, and Electric Appliances issues being notable losers. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.03%, or 6.42 points, to 19,403.06. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 0.12%, or 1.92 points, at 1,536.22. Volume on the main board was 1.749 billion shares, compared with 30-day average daily volume of 2.375 billion shares.

Mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui, and insurer Dai-ichi Life were buoyant. Ono Pharmaceutical jumped 5.77% on a media report that the companys president, Gyo Sagara, has revealed a plan to start domestic sales of its Opdivo cancer drug also for stomach cancer treatment. Also on the plus side were mobile phone carriers SoftBank Group and KDDI, and clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing, all heavily weighted components of the Nikkei average.

By contrast, Toshiba Corp plummeted nearly 12% with investors unnerved by a media report that the electronics and machinery giant could additionally book hundreds of billions of yen in loss from its nuclear power plant business in the United States. Mitsubishi Estate, Sumitomo Realty and Mitsui Fudosan also met with selling.

Domestic inflation even measured by the Bank of Japans narrow indicator continues to slow as firms remain cautious about raising prices amid sluggish consumption. The BOJ said Tuesday it estimates that the CPI minus volatile fresh food and energy, which it believes shows a clearer price trend amid low crude oil prices, rose 0.2% on year in November. The pace of increase decelerated further from 0.3% in October and was far below this years peak of 1.0% seen in February. Government data released earlier Tuesday showed the core consumer price index -- which excludes fresh food but includes energy prices -- fell 0.4% on year in November for the ninth straight drop. The pace of decline was unchanged from -0.4% in October as a slower drop in the prices for energy was offset by smaller gains in those for processed food and overseas holiday tours.

China Stocks end inch lower

Mainland China stock market closed inch lower in light trading, as lack of liquidity also dampened market sentiments. However, losses were limited after official government data showing solid profit growth in the nations industrial sector in November. The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.25% to 3,114.66 while the CSI 300 Index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, closed 0.18% lower at 3,316.39. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, added 0.07% to 1,979.73. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, fell 0.27% to close at 1,968.62 points.

Investors concerns about market tighter liquidity reignited after the Peoples Bank of China, through a series of open market operations, withdrew around 150 billion yuan of capital on Tuesday. The central bank has been tightening market liquidity for three days in a row. The bond market was lower. The benchmark 10-year treasury futures for March delivery fell 0.21%, while the five-year treasury futures for March delivery dropped 0.48%. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield rose to 3.165% while the five-year government bond yield dropped to 2.94%. Bond prices move inversely to yield.

Shares particularly in the energy, transportation and telecommunication sectors were among the biggest losers on Tuesday. China Unicom slumped 3.33% to 7.55 yuan, AVIC Aircraft Co dropped 2.0% to 21.12 yuan, while China Eastern Airlines fell 1.87%. China Petroleum & Chemicals shed 1.94%.

Shares of specific themes such as SOE [state-owned enterprise] reform and public private partnership (PPP) continued attracting buying after the China Securities Regulatory Commission and Chinas National Development and Reform Commission said in a joint statement on Monday that China wants to encourage PPP projects to raise funds through asset-backed securitisation (ABS). The new policy gives Chinas infrastructure projects a new way of financing.

Shanghai-listed Longjian Road & Bridge Co locked 10% upper circuit at 7.13 yuan. Long Yuan Construction Group Co shares surged 10% daily limit at 11.37 yuan. Tunnel and bridge designer JSTI Group rose 5.5% to 21.36 yuan and Yunnan Yuntou Ecology and Environment Technology rising 3.19% to 23.60 yuan. Property developer China Vankes A shares ended up 3.37% at 21.42 yuan. Commercial real estate company Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development gained 1.52% to 22.73 yuan.

Sensex, Nifty hit almost one-week closing high

Indian benchmark indices logged strong gains led by sharp gains in index heavyweights ITC, Infosys and Reliance Industries (RIL) as bargain hunting emerged after the recent selling. The barometer index, the SandP BSE Sensex, jumped 406.34 points or 1.57% to settle at 26,213.44. The Nifty 50 index gained 124.60 points or 1.58% to settle at 8,032.85. The Sensex regained the psychological 26,000 mark, after moving above that level in mid-afternoon trade. The Nifty also settled above the psychological 8,000 mark, after moving above that level in late trade.

After a positive start, the Indian equity benchmarks kept on gaining ground as trading for the day progressed. FMCG and bank stocks gained on renewed buying. Metal and mining stocks gained on positive economic data in China.

Kaya rose 2.66% after the company said its subsidiary completed acquisition of 75% beneficial interest in Minal Medical Centre, Dubai and Minal Specialized Clinic Dermatology, Sharjah.

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Australia Market shut for a holiday
Dec 27,2016

Australian share market closed on Tuesday, 27 December 2016, for national holiday.

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Nikkei ends tad higher
Dec 27,2016

The Japan share market closed marginally higher in quiet trade on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. Total 18 out of 33 TSE industry category on the main section gained ground, with Rubber Products, Marine Transportation, Financial Business, Pharmaceutical, and Banks issues being major gainers, while Real Estate, Pulp & Paper, Construction, and Electric Appliances issues being notable losers. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.03%, or 6.42 points, to 19,403.06. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 0.12%, or 1.92 points, at 1,536.22. Volume on the main board was 1.749 billion shares, compared with 30-day average daily volume of 2.375 billion shares.

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China Stocks end inch lower
Dec 27,2016

China Stocks end inch lowerMainland China stock market closed inch lower in light trading on Tuesday, 27 December 2016, as lack of liquidity also dampened market sentiments. However, losses were limited after official government data showing solid profit growth in the nations industrial sector in November. The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.25% to 3,114.66 while the CSI 300 Index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, closed 0.18% lower at 3,316.39. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, added 0.07% to 1,979.73. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, fell 0.27% to close at 1,968.62 points.

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