Asian Shares Mostly Weaker As Saudi Shakeup Hits Sentiment


Asian markets fallAsian markets fall – Asian shares were mostly weaker on Monday as investors took risk stances after a surprise shakeup over the weekend in Saudi Arabia and with President Donald Trump in Asia for more than a week of high-profile meetings.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.06%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.13%. In Greater China, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.13% and the Hang Seng index dropped 1.04%.

Qatar Airways announced it would be buying around 9.61% 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). Cathay shares fell 4.09% and Kingboard Chemical was up 1.04%.

In weekend news, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin AbdelAziz, announced the formation of a ‘supreme committee chaired by Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman) and Chairman of the Monitoring and Investigation Commission, Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Authority, Chief of the General Audit Bureau, Attorney General and Head of State Security.

The move includes the reported detainment Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose Kingdom Holdings dropped 10% in trading on the Tadawul stock exchange on Sunday.

The White House statement said Sunday that President Donald Trump and Salman held a phone call discussing counterterrorism efforts, “the continuing threat of Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen” and Saudi Arabia’s interception of a missile fired from Yemen at its capital, Riyadh but the white house said nothing about whether the arrests were discussed.

Trump also said he expects to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two world leaders cross paths in Southeast Asia. Trump said pressure on North Korea was the priority during his first official visit to the region.

In the week ahead, investors will continue to monitor the progress of the U.S. tax reform bill.

Last week, U.S. stocks closed at record highs led by a surge in tech stocks after Apple reported quarterly earnings that topped expectations while upbeat services and orders data offset a soft October jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher at 23,525.97. The S&P 500 closed 0.27% higher while the Nasdaq Composite closed at 6764.44, up 0.74%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at record highs after shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 2% following an earnings report late Thursday that beat on both the top and bottom line. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:QCOM), meanwhile, surged 12% on reports it may be acquired by Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO).

On the economic data front, investors mulled over a mixed bag of data as the U.S. economy created fewer jobs than expected while order and services sector data topped expectations.

ISM non-manufacturing data for October showed an uptick to 60.1, beating expectations of 58.5. That was the highest reading for the service sector index since 2005.

The upbeat non-manufacturing report raised investor expectations of bullish U.S. economic growth, spurring a rebound on the dollar, which pressured gold prices to sink to session lows.

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, the Department of Labor said Friday, that missed economists’ estimates for 310,000 new jobs.

The jobless rate remained steady at 4.2% while average hourly earnings was sluggish with growth roughly flat for the month.will be relatively quiet week for economic data.

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