Asian Stock Markets Mixed, Muted, Closed On Holiday

Asian stock markets were muted Thursday, with Tokyo trading flat, and Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul closed on holiday. With regional markets near record highs, traders are in a holding mode and awaiting the U.S. Friday jobs report or other cues, said analysts.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 traded flat, closing up 0.01%, as traders took profits from a market near two-year highs, and took to sidelines ahead of the U.S. jobs report, and clues it might have for Federal Reserve policy.

In other news, U.S. private-equity firm Bain Capital said it plans to list Toshiba’s (TOSYY, 6502:Tokyo) chip business on the Tokyo Stock Exchange within three years, Bain recently led an $18 billion acquisition chip-manufacturing unit. Bain on Monday revealed a $1.35 billion bid for ad agency Asatsu-DK (9747:Tokyo).

Also, President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have set Nov. 6 for a summit In Tokyo. Trade and North Korea are on the agenda.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.90 to 20,628.56, although losing issues outnumbered gainers 199 to 98, making for a mixed day.

Leading the upside were frozen-foods purveyor Nippon Suisan Kaisha (NISUF, 1332:Tokyo), up 6.1%; followed by the beverage house Asahi Holdings (ASBRF, 2502:Tokyo), up 5.6%; and then Sapporo Holdings (SOOBF, 2501:Tokyo), up 4.4%.

On the downside were chemical-concern Showa Denko (SHWDY, 4004:Tokyo), off 2.8%; and then Nippon Express (NPEXY, 9062:Tokyo), off 2.7%.

On the other exchanges, the Taiwan TWSE rose 0.47%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.01%; the Singapore Straits Times Index gained 0.78%; and the Thai Set gained 0.18%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.47%. Indian IPOS may top $5 billion in 2017 for an annual record-high, the Business Standard reported.

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