Asia Mixed Amid Singapore Bank Troubles

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Asia Mixed Amid Singapore Bank Troubles

Dec 07, 2020 ( via COMTEX) —

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Monday, with shares in Japan, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland struggling for gains.

Investor sentiment improved last week around coronavirus vaccine rollouts and U.S. stimulus hopes, which fueled a record-setting session Friday on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 203.8 points, or 0.8%, to close Monday at 26,547.44.

The Japanes Yen changed hands at 104.12 against the U.S. dollar, strengthening from an earlier level around 104.23

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 329.07 points, or 1.2%, to 26,506.85.

Singapore’s largest banks fell on Monday while the broader Straits Times Index also fell.

Shares of DBS Group fell 0.6%, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation was down 0.6% and United Overseas Bank declined 0.0%.

Last week, Singapore’s central bank announced the successful applicants that will be allowed to operate the city-state’s first digital banks. Among them was a venture between Singapore Telecommunications and tech company Grab as well as internet platform company Sea.

A senior Singtel executive told the media on Monday that its entry into the banking sector is not aimed at bringing down established lenders.

Ratings agency Moody’s said the digital banking licenses “pose a limited threat to the largest domestic banks in the city, namely DBS, OCBC and UOB.”

Singtel shares rose 4.3% in afternoon trade.

In Australia, energy and mining stocks mostly rose — shares of Rio Tinto rose 2.5%, Woodside Petroleum was up 0.7%, Fortescue was up 3.8% and BHP added 2.1%.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dipped 43.69 points, or 0.9%, to 5,022.23.

In Korea, the Kospi index gained 13.99 points, or 0.5%, to 2,745.44

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index popped 124.16 points, or 0.9%, to 14,256.60.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index swooned 14.38 points, or 0.5%, to 2,825.51.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 recovered 24.64 points, or 0.2%, to 12,656.02.

In Australia, the ASX 200 picked up 40.94 points, or 0.6%, to 6,675.02.

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