Asia Jumps Amid Trade Talk, N. Korea Nukes

Asian markets closed mostly in the money on Monday despite concerns over trade protectionism during the G7 meeting in Italy and North Korea's latest missile launch over the weekend.

The Nikkei 225 deducted 14.05 points, or 0.1% to 19,869.85

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 215.25 points, or 0.9%, to 25,371.59

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba reported a 950-billion-yen net loss for the last financial year. The results were not audited. Toshiba shares were up 3.4% at the end of the session.

Over in Singapore, shares of Genting Singapore soared 6.5% after the company reported that Q1 profits were 16.7 times higher on year. Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal reiterated their "Buy" call on the stock in a note, adding that they expected Genting shares to re-rate before companies begin tendering bids to open integrated resorts in Japan.

In Australian markets, numbers were fairly flat, on news that BHP Billiton is expected to unveil plans to unlock greater value from its shale assets after Elliott Management urged the company to restructure. The company also dropped the "Billiton" in its name as part of a re-branding exercise. BHP shares closed 0.3% higher at A$23.82 a stock.

Also in Australia, Fairfax Media was offered A$2.76 billion ($2.04 billion U.S.) by TPG Capital Management for the entire company. An earlier bid by TPG had only targeted Fairfax's main newspapers and property listings arm. Fairfax shares surged on the news and closed the session 6.5% higher.

G7 finance ministers and central bankers highlighted the risks U.S. trade policies could pose to global growth, during their meeting in Italy. This followed an earlier meeting in March this year, when G20 leaders failed to endorse free trade in their joint communique.

Concerns over North Korea's nuclear program also grew after the hermit state launched a new missile over the weekend. The missile landed in the sea close to Russia

Meanwhile, the extent of a global cyberattack as people returned to work was also largely shrugged off by markets. Called "WannaCry," the malware infected 200,000 devices with a ransomware program.

The U.S. dollar was stronger against the yen, with the greenback fetching 113.60. Dollar/yen had breached the 114 level last week.


Shanghai’s CSI 300 advanced 13.81 points, or 0.4%, to 3,399.19

In economic news, China's industrial production figures and fixed-asset investment for the month of April reflected that growth momentum had slowed despite a strong Q1.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index advanced 50 points, or 0.5%, to 10,036.82

In Korea, the Kospi index inched up 4.63 points, or 0.2%, to 2,290.65

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index rebounded 8.92 points, or 0.3%, to 3,264.21

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 faded 22.43 points, or 0.3%, to 7,429.94

In Australia, the ASX 200 nicked up 1.5 points to 5,838.40