Asia Treads Water as Investors Take In Earnings

Asian shares closed narrowly mixed in Thursday trade following the softer lead from Wall Street and as investors digested regional earnings releases. Notable names on the earnings calendar included SK Hynix, ANZ and OCBC.

The Nikkei 225 index regained 32.16 points, or 0.2%, to 21,739.78. Financials and most automakers rose, and shares of messaging service Line closed up 16.7% after it reported earnings. The benchmark index had snapped its 16-day win streak on Wednesday.

The Hang Seng Index fell 100.51 points, or 0.4%, to 28,202.38

Korean markets declined as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from blue-chip names.

South Korea's SK Hynix announced Thursday that its third-quarter operating profit rose 415% compared to one year ago. Profit for the period came in at 3.7 trillion won ($3.3 billion U.S.), a touch below the 3.8 trillion won projected by experts. The chipmaker's stock closed down 3.7%

Meanwhile, shares of Hyundai Motor closed up 7.4% after the automaker turned in its third-quarter report card. While the company's profit tumbled 20% in the period, that metric came in a touch above estimates at 852 billion won ($758.21 million U.S.).

Down Under, markets closed up as the heavily weighted financials sub-index erased early losses to close higher by 0.1%

In Australia, ANZ said on Thursday its full-year net profit for the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, rose 12% to 6.41 billion Australian dollars ($4.94 billion U.S.), a touch below the A$6.87 billion forecast. ANZ shares underperformed other banking stocks, tumbling by 1.2% by the end of the session.

Other market movers included the fall in Qantas shares after the airline said in its first-quarter update that conditions in the second-half of the year were expected to be tougher. Qantas stock fell 7% before paring some losses to close down 1.4%.

In Singapore, OCBC said Thursday that third-quarter net profit grew 12% to S$1.06 billion. The Singapore bank also highlighted "continuing stress" in the oil and gas sector. OCBC shares were flat toward the end of the session.

In other corporate news, Japan's Asahi Group will be offloading soft drink arm LB, which was acquired more than ten years ago, Nikkei Asian Review reported. Asahi stock closed down 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar recouped some losses after tumbling when inflation missed expectations on Wednesday. The Aussie dollar traded at $0.7709 after falling as low as $0.7694 in the session. That compared to levels around the $0.78 handle seen at the beginning of this week.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 16.63 points, or 0.4%, to 3,993.58

Also of note in markets was news about China's first dollar-denominated sovereign bond offering in more than a decade. A total of $2 billion U.S. in government debt will be issued in two tranches

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index slid 11.87 points, or 0.5%, to 2,480.63

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index capsized 15.81 points, or 0.2%, to 10,734.76

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index tacked on 12.37 points, or 0.4%, to 3,356.25

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 35.94 points, or 0.4%, to 8,086.74

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 10.7 points, or 0.2%, to 5,916.30