Kospi Weighs Asian Markets Down

Asian indexes closed down on Monday despite the firmer lead from Wall Street last week. Chinese markets traded lower as investors kept an eye on developments in the bond market while South Korea's Kospi slid on weakness in tech names.

The Nikkei 225 index faded 54.86 points, or 0.2%, to 22,495.99

The Hang Seng Index faltered 180.13 points, or 0.6%, to 29,686.19

Trading houses and manufacturing names made losses, but some notable names continued to cling to gains. Toyota closed up 0.04% as other major automakers finished the session lower. Tech stocks ended mixed, with Nintendo closing up 2.4% on investor optimism following reports that Black Friday and Thanksgiving deals in the U.S. had brought in solid sales.

The U.S. dollar lost steam after initially firming against the yen, with the greenback slipping to 111.44 after rising as high as 111.68 during the session.

Property plays traded in Hong Kong came under pressure during the session, with Evergrande losing 7.4% and Sun Hung Kai edging down 0.4%.

Market movers included SK Hynix and LG Display which lost 2.4% and 1.4% respectively by the end of the day.

Samsung Electronics tumbled 5.1% by the close after a Morgan Stanley report downgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" and lowered its price target to 2.8 million won per share.

The Korean won was also in focus ahead of the Bank of Korea's Thursday interest rates decision, with a majority of economists last month indicating that a 25-basis-point rate hike was expected. The currency traded at 1,089.31 won to the U.S. dollar, near its strongest levels in around two and a half years.

Australian markets inched higher, as resource plays Rio Tinto and BHP seesawed, closing the session lower by 0.01% and 0.07% respectively. Energy-related stocks were downbeat, with Santos falling 0.8%


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 slumped 54.25 points, or 1.3%, to 4,049.95, with telcos and tech among the worst-performing sectors.

Chinese industrial companies saw their profits grow 25.1% in October compared to the year before. That was a touch below the 27.7% rise seen in September.

Also, China announced Friday it would be reducing tariffs on 187 consumer goods. The tariff cuts, which will affect everything from special infant milk formula to clothing, are set to take effect from Dec. 1, 2017.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index slouched 36.52 points, or 1.4%, to 2,507.81

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index dropped 103.16 points, or 1%, to 10,750.93

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 5.79 points, or 0.2%, to 3,436.76

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 improved 45.81 points, or 0.6%, to 8,176.10

In Australia, the ASX 200 improved 6.22 points, or 0.1%, to 5,988.77