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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks fall on Trump accusations
May 17,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed down on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, as uncertainty mounted over US President Donald Trumps future following reports that he tried to interfere with a federal investigation.

Skepticism about the Trump administration grew after a news report that he disclosed highly classified intelligence related to the Islamic State militant group to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in their meeting at the White House last week. Trump also came under fire following a media report that he held a meeting in February with then Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and asked him to end the FBIs investigation into shady ties between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks fall to 7-week low

Australian equity market closed session at seven week low, as disappointing wage growth and consumer confidence data hurt sentiment. Most of the ASX sectors declined with financial issue being major loser. The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 1.1%, or 64.518 points, to 5,786 at the close of trade, to its lowest settlement since 27 March 2017.

Financial stocks accounted for more than half of Wednesdays losses with the Big Four banks leading decliners in the benchmark. Moodys Investors Service weighed in on the four biggest banks, warning that measures introduced in Canberras budget could further pressure earnings growth already set to moderate due to low interest rates and competition. The banks have been under pressure for several weeks, following lackluster earnings reports and then a surprise tax on liabilities proposed in the budget. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 2%, Westpac Banking was 2.3% weaker, Australia & New Zealand Banking lost 1.3% and National Australia Bank was 2.1% lower. Investment bank and asset manager Macquarie dropped by 1.3%.

Energy stocks also weakened, as crude oil retreated amid concerns that U.S. production was undercutting efforts by major producing nations to curtail output. Woodside Petroleum slipped 0.2%, Oil Search fell 0.3% and Santos declined 2.5%.

Resource stocks were the only part of the Australia market in positive territory, buoyed by a rally in Chinese iron-ore futures. Diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose 0.2% and 2.2%, respectively, and Fortescue Metals Group gained 4.2%. The three are among the worlds largest producers of iron ore.

Japan Stocks fall on firm yen

The Japan share market finished lower, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens ascent against the dollar. Meanwhile selloff pressure intensified on growing uncertainty over the policy management of U.S. President Donald Trump after news reports that he has leaked to Russia highly classified information related to the Islamic State militant group. The 225-issue Nikkei average shed 104.94 points, or 0.53%, to finish at 19,814.88. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 8.41 points, or 0.53%, at 1,575.82. Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,287 to 630 in the TSEs first section, while 98 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 1.96 billion shares from Tuesdays 2.17 billion shares.

Financial institutions, including mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui, insurer Dai-ichi Life and brokerage firm Nomura met with selling, reflecting overnight falls of their U.S. peers in New York and lower U.S. long-term interest rates.

The higher yen pushed down export-oriented names, such as automakers Toyota, Honda and Subaru, electronics manufacturer Panasonic and electronics parts producer Murata Manufacturing. A stronger yen is bad for Japanese shares as it hurts the profitability of the countrys major exporters. The dollar weakened to 112.31 yen, from 113.15 yen in New York.

Oil companies Idemitsu, Cosmo Energy Holdings and Showa Shell suffered sharp drops due to weaker crude oil prices.

By contrast, game-maker Nintendo, mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group and drugmaker Takeda gained ground. Toshiba ticked up 0.13 per cent after diving more than 12 per cent in the previous session in response to warnings that it likely lost more than US$8.4 billion in the past fiscal year.

China Stocks break 4-day winning streak, regulatory concerns linger

The Mainland China equity market closed higher down for the first time in five straight sessions, as investors opted to book gain off the table amid lingering concerns over tighter regulation and economic growth despite recent soothing regulatory comments. Most sectors lost ground, led by defensive consumer and healthcare stocks, as investors took profits from the recent rally. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5%, to 3,409.97 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,104.44 points.

Chinese stocks had declined for five weeks in a row amid concerns that Beijings stepped-up efforts to reduce leverage in the financial system would trigger liquidity stress and damage the economy. But the market rebounded in the past sessions after Beijing moved to ease investor concerns through generous cash injections in the interbank market and market-friendly comments.

Hong Kong Stocks fall 0.2%

The Hong Kong stock market finished session down, as anxiety over the fallout from the U.S. Presidents reported interference in a federal investigation weighed on risk assets. However, losses were limited, aided by steady flows of money from mainland China. The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 per cent, to 25,293.63, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 per cent, to 10,383.14 points.

Shares of the Peoples Insurance Group Of China hit a near two-month high after it unveiled plans to list in Shanghai. But shares of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd slumped roughly 6 per cent after the drugmaker announced plans to offer additional shares at a discount to the market price.

Cathay Pacific (00293) jumped 4.9% to HK$11.1 making itself the best blue-chip winner. The local carrier held its AGM this morning, with management saying that the worst is behind now. It also plans job cut, which triggered share price spike of 6.6% at one stage.

MTRC (00066) gained 2.3% to HK$49.1 after its Chairman Frederick Ma said the company is interested in bidding, along with China Railway, the 350-km high-speed railway connecting Singapore and Malaysia, which is part of the Road and Belt Initiative projects.

CLP (00002) and Link REIT (00823) hit all-time highs of HK$84.45 and HK$59.4. But CLP closed down 0.2% to HK$84. Link REIT gained 1.6% to HK$59.15.

Meitu (01357) plunged 9% to HK$9.8 after Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) withdrew its previous decision of adding the stock into its MSCI China All Shares Index.

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Hong Kong Stocks fall 0.2%
May 17,2017

The Hong Kong stock market finished session down on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, as anxiety over the fallout from the U.S. Presidents reported interference in a federal investigation weighed on risk assets. However, losses were limited, aided by steady flows of money from mainland China. The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 per cent, to 25,293.63, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 per cent, to 10,383.14 points.

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China Stocks break 4-day winning streak, regulatory concerns linger
May 17,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed higher down for the first time in five straight sessions on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, as investors opted to book gain off the table amid lingering concerns over tighter regulation and economic growth despite recent soothing regulatory comments. Most sectors lost ground, led by defensive consumer and healthcare stocks, as investors took profits from the recent rally. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5%, to 3,409.97 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,104.44 points.

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Australia Stocks fall to 7-week low
May 17,2017

Australian equity market closed session at seven week low on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, as disappointing wage growth and consumer confidence data hurt sentiment. Most of the ASX sectors declined with financial issue being major loser. The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 1.1%, or 64.518 points, to 5,786 at the close of trade, to its lowest settlement since 27 March 2017.

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Japan Stocks fall on firm yen, Trump accusations
May 17,2017

The Japan share market finished lower on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens ascent against the dollar. Meanwhile selloff pressure intensified on growing uncertainty over the policy management of U.S. President Donald Trump after news reports that he has leaked to Russia highly classified information related to the Islamic State militant group. The 225-issue Nikkei average shed 104.94 points, or 0.53%, to finish at 19,814.88. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 8.41 points, or 0.53%, at 1,575.82. Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,287 to 630 in the TSEs first section, while 98 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 1.96 billion shares from Tuesdays 2.17 billion shares.

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Australia Stocks eke out marginal gains
May 16,2017

Australian equity market closed marginally higher after fluctuating in and out of the boundary line on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, as strength in resource stocks lifted by recovering commodity and metal prices were more than offset by weakness in bank stocks after National Australia Bank traded ex-dividend. The S&P/ASX 200 index perked up 0.2%, or 12.098 points, to 5,850.5 at the close of trade. For the day, 2.13 billion shares were traded with a value of A$6.77 billion.

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China Stocks up for 4th day in row
May 16,2017

The Mainland China equity market recouped early losses to finish higher on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, as risk sentiments got boosted by central bank efforts to boost liquidity in the financial system. Most sectors gained ground, led by consumer and material stocks, while banks shares were notable losers. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.9%, to 3,428.65 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% to 3,112.96 points.

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Australia Stocks edge up at close
May 15,2017

Australian equity market ended edge higher on Monday, 15 May 2017, as risk sentiment supported by bargain hunting in top lenders after last weeks heavy selling due to the federal government proposal a new levy on their liabilities. Meanwhile, rise in energy companies with a jump in oil prices also helped lift the market. The S&P/ASX 200 ticked up 1.5 points to 5838.4.

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Japan Stocks falls on strong yen, weak global cues
May 15,2017

The Japan share market finished session lower on Monday, 15 May 2017, on tracking weak lead from Wall Street on Friday and as comparatively firm yen against the U.S. dollar. However, gains in realtors and other domestic demand-oriented names as well as in issues with brisk corporate earnings helped limit the markets downside. In addition, the market was supported by hopes for exchange-traded fund purchases by the Bank of Japan. The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 14.05 points, or 0.07%, to end at 19,869.85. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 0.71 point, or 0.04%, at 1,580. Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,057 to 854 in the TSEs first section, while 104 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 2.155 billion shares from Fridays 2.248 billion shares.

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China Stocks up for 3rd day in row
May 15,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed higher on Monday, 15 May 2017, as risk sentiments got boosted by calming concerns over tighter financial regulations and liquidity after government soothing comments. Also market sentiment boosted by the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on Sunday and Monday. However, market upside was capped by Chinas disappointing factory activity and investment data that deepened worries of renewed economic slowdown. Most sectors gain ground, led by defensive consumer and health care stocks. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.4 per cent to 3,399.19 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 per cent to 3,090.23 points. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.59 percent higher at 9,845.6 points. The ChiNext Index, Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, ended 0.23 percent higher to close at 1,778.64 points.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain for sixth day
May 15,2017

The Hong Kong stock market finished session nearly two year high on Monday, 15 May 2017, as investor sentiment lifted by optimism that regulators will temporarily soften their clean-up of the financial industry and continuous inflows from mainland China. However, topside was capped on news of the weekends North Korean missile test and a global cybersecurity attack. Most sectors rose with financial and energy shares among the biggest gainers. The Hang Seng Index, the citys benchmark, rose for a fifth straight trading day, up 0.9% or 215.3 points to close Monday at 25,371.6, the highest level since July 24, 2015, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Chinese companies trading in the city, added 1.6%, or 167.7 points, to 10,450.4. Turnover increased to HK$81.3 billion from HK$75 billion on Friday.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed ahead of Beijing summit, G7 finance meeting
May 12,2017

Asia Pacific share market finished the week with a mixed note on Friday, 12 May 2017, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street. Expectations of an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve next month also weighed on investor sentiment.

Investors were awaiting for the outcome of a meeting of world leaders in Beijing for the Silk Road summit this weekend and the G7 finance meeting in Italy.

U.S. equities closed lower on Thursday as weak earnings reports Macys weighed on major U.S. retailers, causing the S&P 500 to decline 0.22% or 5.19 points to close at 2,394.44. Macys earnings miss for Q1 led to shares of the retailer tumbling 17%.

Ahead, a weekend meeting of top finance chiefs from the world leading economies called the G7 will meet in Italy at the weekend with trade and currencies expected to be on the agenda.

Beijing prepares to host a number of world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin, for a summit on Chinas ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to link China to Europe via Central Asia and maritime routes this weekend. The summit comes as the U.S. and China unveiled a trade agreement that will boost U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas and beef, and work on improving access for electronic payment system providers in China.

This weekend sees the beginning of Chinas two day One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit involving more than 100 countries and organizations. 40 have already signed cooperation agreements and another 20 countries and more than 20 corporations are expected to sign agreements in the next few days in the global plan that covers around 65% of the worlds population, one third of the worlds GDP and around a quarter of all the worlds trade. The plan itself is twelve times larger than the post WW2 Marshall plan and is the largest single economic policy ever conceived.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks fall, weigh by top lenders

Australian equity market ended lower, as sentiment was weighed on by a slide in global markets overnight. Most of the ASX sector declined, with consumer discretionary, technology, healthcare, industrials, energy, realty and financials issues being notable losers, while strong gains in the gold and copper prices helped materials sector to close in green. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 41.40 points, or 0.7%, at 5836.90. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 637 to 415 and 389 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.14% to 11.977.

Shares of financial companies closed down after news of the governments plans for a levy on the liabilities of the countrys biggest lenders, with Australia & New Zealand Banking falling 0.3% to A$29.22, Westpac dropping 0.2% to A$32.57 and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia erasing 0.5% to A$81.67. The National Australia Bank was up 0.1% to A$32.33.

Bank executives have argued against the federal move to raise 6.2 billion Australian dollars (US$4.57 billion), saying they werent consulted and that any taxes would ultimately get picked up by shareholders or borrowers. Keeping up the pressure on the government, the industrys lobby group on Friday called on the Treasury to release details of the levy and its economic impact.

Shares of materials and resources were higher. Among the miners, BHP Billiton rose 0.6% to A$23.75 and Rio Tinto 0.4% to A$59.80 as copper prices touched a one week-high on Thursday after funds cut bearish bets. However, Fortescue was down 2.7% to A$4.74. Gold miner Newcrest added 2.4% to A$20.68 after the bullion price rose on Thursday having been flat or lower for the previous eight sessions.

Japan Stocks falls on profit booking

The Japan share market finished session lower, as investors elected to cash profits after the benchmark hits 17-month high yesterday. Meanwhile, the yens appreciation against the U.S. dollar and Wall Streets overnight decline also fuelled profit booking. However, losses were limited as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings such as from automaker Nissan on a surprise hike in dividend. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.65 points, or 0.39%, to close the day at 19,883.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 6.15 points, or 0.39%, to end at 1,580.71. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 2.3% for the week.

Trading volume on the main section on Friday came to 2,248.62 million shares, rising from Thursdays volume of 2,292.02 million shares. The turnover on the final trading day of the week totaled 2,964.5 billion yen.

Panasonic lost ground after the electronics maker announced on Thursday a weaker-than-expected operating profit estimate for the fiscal year through March 2018.

Sumitomo Metal Mining declined after releasing a sluggish operating profit estimate for the current fiscal year. Also on the minus side were mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho, automakers Toyota, Honda and Subaru, and electronics parts producer Murata Manufacturing.

By contrast, Nissan Motor surged on its plan to hike dividends although it forecast an unexpected fall in profits and its guidance was lower than analyst expectations. Retailer Seven & i Holdings, online shopping mall operator Rakuten and power firm Tepco Holdings were buoyant. Mobile phone carrier KDDI attracted buying a day after announcing a plan to buy back own shares.

China Stocks up ahead of Beijing summit

The Mainland China equity market closed higher, as risk sentiments got boosted by central banks move to inject funds into the market. Investors also get encouraged by the news that Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is going to be held this weekend. Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.72%, or 22.01 points, to 3,083.51 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, edged 0.06%, or 1.05 points, up to 1,820.20. Over the past week, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.63%.

Chinas central bank injected fresh funds through a medium-term lending facility on Friday while keeping a tight rein on short-term funding in what appeared to be a further effort to dampen speculative investment while keeping the economy adequately funded. The Peoples Bank of China injected 459 billion yuan (US$66.51 billion) into the financial system through medium-term lending facility tools today. The move is a positive signal for the stabilization of the market.

The advance came as Beijing prepares to host a number of world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin, for a summit on Chinas ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to link China to Europe via Central Asia and maritime routes. The summit comes as the U.S. and China unveiled a trade agreement that will boost U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas and beef, and work on improving access for electronic payment system providers in China.

This weekend sees the beginning of Chinas two day One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit involving more than 100 countries and organizations. 40 have already signed cooperation agreements and another 20 countries and more than 20 corporations are expected to sign agreements in the next few days in the global plan that covers around 65% of the worlds population, one third of the worlds GDP and around a quarter of all the worlds trade. The plan itself is twelve times larger than the post WW2 Marshall plan and is the largest single economic policy ever conceived.

Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. China Merchants Bank Co rose 5.61% to 20.34 yuan, New China Life Insurance Co added 3.05% to 50.03 yuan, and Hebei Langfang Development Co climbed 2.37% to 13.41 yuan.

Hong Kong Stocks gain for fifth day

The Hong Kong stock market finished the week with a fifth successive gain, as investor sentiment lifted by tracking strength in Mainland bourses and continuous inflows from mainland China. Sector performance was mixed, with materials and utility shares falling, while IT stocks firmed. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.12%, or 30.79 points, to 25,156.34 - its highest finish since the end of July 2015. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.2%, to 10,282.65 points. For the week, the Hang Seng gained 2.8%, while HSCE rose 2.6%. Turnover decreased to HK$75.1 billion from HK$81.6 billion on Thursday.

Tencent (00700) gained 1% to HK$258.2 after hitting all-time high of HK$259.2. Citi Research has raised their target price for the internet giant to HK$302, expecting its income growth of 40% for 1Q. It was also reported that Russia has unblocked its messaging app Wechat.

Link REIT (00823) gained 1% to HK$58.1 after the company confirmed to acquire the Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou. HSBC (00005) edged up 0.2% to HK$68.1.

AAC Technologies (02018) sank 3% to HK$96 after yesterdays plunge triggered by a short seller report. The company said its net profit soared 72% to RMB1.06 billion for 1Q.

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Japan: Stocks falls on profit booking
May 12,2017

The Japan share market finished session lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as investors elected to cash profits after the benchmark hits 17-month high yesterday. Meanwhile, the yens appreciation against the U.S. dollar and Wall Streets overnight decline also fuelled profit booking. However, losses were limited as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings such as from automaker Nissan on a surprise hike in dividend. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.65 points, or 0.39%, to close the day at 19,883.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 6.15 points, or 0.39%, to end at 1,580.71. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 2.3% for the week. Trading volume on the main section on Friday came to 2,248.62 million shares, rising from Thursdays volume of 2,292.02 million shares. The turnover on the final trading day of the week totaled 2,964.5 billion yen.

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Australia Stocks fall, weigh by top lenders
May 12,2017

Australian equity market ended lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as sentiment was weighed on by a slide in global markets overnight. Most of the ASX sector declined, with consumer discretionary, technology, healthcare, industrials, energy, realty and financials issues being notable losers, while strong gains in the gold and copper prices helped materials sector to close in green. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 41.40 points, or 0.7%, at 5836.90. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 637 to 415 and 389 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.14% to 11.977.

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China Stocks up ahead of Beijing summit
May 12,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed higher on Friday, 12 May 2017, as risk sentiments got boosted by central banks move to inject funds into the market. Investors also get encouraged by the news that Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is going to be held this weekend. Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.72%, or 22.01 points, to 3,083.51 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, edged 0.06%, or 1.05 points, up to 1,820.20. Over the past week, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.63%.

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