Asia Mixed as Trump’s Asia Tour Gets Rolling

Major Asian indexes closed mixed on Monday as investors digested earnings reports and President Donald Trump's tour of the region got underway.

Japanese markets returned Monday from a long weekend, and the Nikkei 225 eked up 9.23 to 22,548.35.

The Hang Seng Index dropped 6.81 points to 28,596.80

Oil stocks rose while automakers were mixed. Mazda Motor declined 4.3% on a poorer-than-expected quarterly profit and Subaru closed down 2.7% after it revised downward its full-year operating profit forecast.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan released Monday showed most policymakers thought the central bank should keep its current policy guidelines

In Korea, SK Hynix closed down 1.1% and Samsung Electronics was flat on the day. Cosmetics and oil stocks, however, notched gains.

Australian stocks were down slightly, with gains in utilities and information technology stocks offset by losses in the heavily-weighted financials sub-index.

Australia's Westpac announced on Monday that its cash earnings rose 3% to 8.06 billion Australian dollars ($6.17 billion U.S.) for the year ending on Sept. 30. That was below the 4% rise forecast. Meanwhile, statutory net profit for the period rose 7% to A$7.99 billion ($6.11 billion U.S.). Westpac shares lagged other banking stocks to close down 2.2%

Also in focus in the region was Trump's tour of Asia, with Japan the first of the five nations on the itinerary. On his arrival in Japan, Trump warned that "no dictator" ought to "ever underestimate American resolve." The president will also visit South Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines during his trip.

In other news, merger talks between telcos Sprint and T-Mobile have ceased, the companies announced on Saturday. Japan's SoftBank, the parent of Sprint, is due to report earnings on Monday. SoftBank stock finished the session down 2.6%

Qatar Airways announced it would be buying around 9.6% of Cathay Pacific Airways. Kingboard Chemical said in a filing on the Hong Kong Exchange that it would be disposing of those shares for consideration of 5.16 billion Hong Kong dollars ($661 million U.S). Kingboard Chemical edged up 0.7% and Cathay shares were down 1.4%. Cathay shares had fallen more than 4% earlier in the day.

Elsewhere, DBS Bank said Monday its third-quarter net profit came it at 822 million Singapore dollars ($602 million U.S.), well below the S$1.13 billion. The bank also said its exposure to the oil and gas support services sector stood at S$5.3 billion ($3.8 billion U.S.). DBS shares tumbled 1.1%

Against the yen, the U.S. dollar firmed to trade at 114.38, above Friday's close of 114.06.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 hiked 28.19 points, or 0.7%, to 4,020.89

In Asia, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the market ought to play a key role in resource allocation, but that regulation remained vital. Zhou had warned in October of the risk of a crash in asset prices resulting from too much optimism.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index fell 8.56 points, or 0.3%, to 2,549.41

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index was down 14.58 points, or 0.1%, to 10,786.19

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index inched down 0.46 points to 3,381.85

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 docked 11.49 points, or 0.1%, to 8,053.63

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 6.1 points, or 0.1%, to 5,953.78