Asia Mixed as U.S. Dollar Edges Up

Asian shares closed mixed on Monday after greater China markets gave up early gains to trade lower in the afternoon.

The Nikkei 225 average in Japan dropped 2.54 points to 23,629.34, with energy-related stocks, trading houses and automakers mostly higher on the day.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong let go of 187.23 points, or 0.6%, to 32,966.89

Toyota gained 0.5% by the end of the session. Meanwhile, other large caps closed mixed: Manufacturing company Fanuc rose 0.2% Fast Retailing slipped 0.1% and SoftBank declined 0.2%

In Hong Kong, energy-related names traded mixed, with CNOOC lower by 1%and Sinopec rising 1% before the market close. Financials traded mixed, with HSBC lower by 0.6% in the afternoon. Property names were also largely in negative territory ahead of the close.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau fell 5.8% following a Wall Street Journal report detailing sexual misconduct from casino magnate Steve Wynn. Shares of New York-listed Wynn Resorts tumbled more than 10% on Friday following the news. Other casino names recorded smaller losses, although Galaxy Entertainment bucked the trend to climb 0.8%.

In Korea, Samsung Electronics advanced 0.9% ahead of the announcement of its fourth-quarter results due later this week. Rival chipmaker SK Hynix gave up early gains to close lower by 0.3%

Automakers and oil-related stocks finished the day in positive territory.

In Australia, gains were seen in most sectors apart from gold producers and real estate investment trusts.

Meanwhile, energy-related stocks and telecommunications were among the top-performing sectors in the morning, with Santos up 1% on the day.

Stock of Australia's AMA Group closed up 4.9% after the company earlier confirmed a report in the Australian Financial Review that it had received a proposal from Blackstone Private Equity

The U.S. dollar firmed against the yen to trade at 108.97.

The Australian dollar, which closed above the $0.81 handle on the back of the softer dollar last week, slipped to trade at $0.8084 after rising as high as $0.8118 earlier.

The move lower in the Australian currency came as yields on U.S. Treasury notes edged up. The yield on the 10-year government note last stood at 2.68% after touching a high of 2.69% earlier in the day.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 backed away 79.28 points, or 1.8%, to 4,302.02

Earlier on Monday, an official on China's National Development and Reform Commission wrote in an op-ed that black swan (impossible to predict) or grey rhino (probably coming, yet ignored) high-impact events were likely to take place this year

China's banking regulator issued fines on 12 banks amounting to 295 million yuan ($46.7 million U.S.), local media said on Saturday. The fines were issued due to illegal bill trading, although authorities did not specify what was unlawful about the trading. Postal Savings Bank of China was among the banks fined.

In other markets

The Kospi in Korea gained 23.43 points, or 0.9%, to 2,598.19

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index recovered 74.71 points, or 0.7%, to 11,221.81

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index tacked on 9.93 points, or 0.3%, to 3,577.07

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved higher 16.17 points, or 0.2%, to 8,327.59

The ASX returned from the Australia Day long weekend to gain 25.39 points, or 0.4%, to 6,075.41