Recovery for Most Asian Markets

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday while oil prices rose around 1% after recording six straight days of declines.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 47.79 points, or 0.2%, to 29,459.63

Financial stocks were mixed in the afternoon, with HSBC lower by 0.2% and China Construction Bank rising 0.9% ahead of the market close. Insurer AIA jumped 1.9%, contributing 42 points to Hang Seng's gains ahead of the close.

Casino stocks were mostly positive territory, while energy-related names and telecommunications stocks traded lower. Index heavyweight Tencent jumped 2.9% before the market close.

South Korea's Kospi advanced, with heavily weighted technology stocks higher on the day. Samsung Electronics rebounded 2.3% and SK Hynix gained 1.5% by the end of the day. Financials also traded higher on Monday.

Shipbuilders were in negative territory, with Samsung Heavy closing down 3.5%. Hyundai Heavy Industries slipped 0.4% after it reported a miss on fourth-quarter earnings on Friday after the market close.

Over in Australia, markets shed some strength as earnings season continued Down Under. Energy-related stocks were down 0.4% despite oil prices rebounding after sliding for six straight sessions. Santos declined 0.4% and Beach Energy lost 2.5% by the end of the day.

Gold producers were also weak: Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining finished the session down 0.5% and 2.2%, respectively. The heavily weighted financials sub-index was off by 0.5% as an inquiry into the sector began on Monday.

Australian retailers were in the red, with Myer underperforming its peers in the sector and trading down 6% by the end of the session. JB Hi-Fi, which reported record half-year earnings on Monday, saw its shares plunge 8% on concerns over profit growth. The company said it expected net profit to grow between 13.1% and 15.5%.

In individual stocks, Singapore Exchange fell 7% after India's three stock exchanges said last week they would stop licensing their indices and market data with foreign exchanges. The SGX said in a Monday statement it would work with National Stock Exchange of India to develop solutions.

Markets in Japan were shuttered for holiday. Ahead, Hong Kong markets will close between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19 and mainland markets will close between Feb. 15 and Feb. 21 for the Lunar New Year holiday.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of rivals, edged down to trade at 90.151, below last Friday's close of 90.346. Against the yen, the dollar was softer at 108.65 late Monday.

The Australian dollar was a touch firmer at $0.7828 U.S.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 regained 49.45 points, or 1.3%, to 3,890.10

The real estate and consumer staples sectors saw gains of more than 2% on the day.

Despite the broader move higher, large cap financials listed on the mainland finished the session lower: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China closed down 1.2% and Bank of China fell 1.9% by the end of the day.

Insurers were mixed on the day, with Ping An Insurance Group rising 0.8%, but China Life Insurance closing lower by nearly 2%. China's insurance regulator on Monday announced in an online notice that insurance companies had to cap their outstanding offshore financing,

In other markets

The Kospi in Korea regrouped 21.61 points, or 0.9%, to 2,385.38

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index jumped 49.34 points, or 0.5%, to 10,421.09

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index inched up 7.74 points, or 0.2%, to 3,384.98

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 slipped 33.31 points, or 0.4%, to 8,059.06

The ASX 200 faltered 17.27 points, or 0.3%, to 5,820.70