Sensex Leads Asia; U.S. Jobs in Focus

Morningstar

The Sensex hit fresh records Friday even as investors around the region awaited cues from the monthly U.S. jobs report due later today as well as a busy schedule next week that features lots of data from China and a Bank of Japan interest rate decision.

The Nikkei traded flat. The Shanghai Composite was down half a percent while the Hang Seng also declined 0.5%. The Sensex gained 1% to another new record as the new Indian government took a series of rapid steps and demonstrated solid intent towards fulfilling its poll promises. The All Ordinaries was up 0.4%.

Earlier Friday, the World Bank said China is likely to meet its economic growth target of 7.5% this year but it must persevere with fiscal and financial sector reforms. The World Bank noted growth could slow to around 7.5% in 2015.

The IMF said Thursday it expected a growth rate of 7.5% this year which would slow to around 7% next year.

Stocks on the Move

Softbank was down 1.6% as its Sprint unit reportedly moved closer to agreeing a deal to purchase T-Mobile US.

Tokyo Gas was down 1.1%. The Nikkei reported the company was raising its bond issuance and also looking at other ways of raising funds.

Sharp Corp. extended gains as it rose a further 2% on the back of a broker upgrade yesterday.

Sony was down 0.8% but Toshiba gained almost a percent. NEC edged 0.3% lower while Kyocera and Canon were also down about half a percent each. Hitachi was down 1.2%.

In Hong Kong, Shimao Property Holdings fell 2.8% after reporting a drop in May sales.

Evergrande Real Estate Group was down 1.4% as it gave up about half of yesterday’s gains.

On its trading debut, Qingdao Port International dipped below its IPO price on concerns after a probe into metal financing at the port.

Italian fashion house Prada sank about 6% after the company signaled a possible cut in full-year estimates after a drop in first-quarter sales in its key Europe and Asia markets.

Casino stocks were all in the red as Wynn Macau and Galaxy Entertainment dropped 2.2% and 2% each, respectively on the back of lower than expected revenue data earlier this week.

The Sensex extended yesterday’s closing record as heavyweight stocks moved higher. State-owned ONGC added 7.8% after the government said it will decide on gas prices by July 1. Reliance Industries jumped 3.2% while Gail India was up 4.8%.

Other gainers included Hero MotoCorp, up 2.4%, HDFC, up 2.2%, ICICI Bank, up 2.1%, and Dr. Reddy’s Lab, up 1.7%.

Outside the Sensex, sugar producer Bajaj Hindusthan added 7.7% after a minister said the government may increase subsidy on overseas shipments.

In Sydney, Sundance Resources fell 13% after the company said it had appointed African engineering firm Mota-Engil Africa to build the $3.5 billion port and rail facilities for its iron-ore project along the Cameroon-Congo border.

Fortescue Metals fell 2.8% while Atlas Iron also weakened 2.9%.

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