ASIA MARKETS: Hong Kong Stocks Break 14-day Winning Run; Nikkei Rises Despite Stronger Yen

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Hang Seng turns lower late in the session

Hong Kong's stock benchmark declined on Monday and broke a 14-day winning streak, falling alongside Chinese equities after some downbeat domestic data.

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Other Asian stock markets logged gains in Monday's session, after all three major U.S. stock indexes closed at record highs on Friday on the hope that increases in earnings will justify high valuations. U.S. markets are closed Monday for a holiday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 0.2%, after climbing around 1% earlier in the session.

The turnaround came amid steep losses in mainland Chinese equities. The Shenzhen Composite ended down 1.8% and the startup-heavy ChiNext skidded 3% after Friday data showed a big end-of-year deceleration in loan growth, and China's broadest measure of money-supply posted another record-low increase.

The data signaled that Beijing's push to deleverage the country's economy will likely drive up borrowing costs and hurt economic growth, said Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The Shanghai Composite , which has risen a record 11-straight days, fell 0.5% on Monday, although gains in financial stocks tempered losses.

Among movers in Hong Kong and China, Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0700.HK) fell 2%, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 1.5% that came the Chinese internet heavyweight said it had reached a deal to make French videogame maker Ubisoft's (UBI.FR) Ketchapp mobile games available on WeChat.

In Japan, a climb in the financial sector helped the Nikkei 225 index rise 0.3%, even as the yen hit a four-month high against the dollar, even after even after Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda failed to offer anything new for market participants looking for signs of monetary tightening. The greenback bought Yen110.58 compared with Yen111.04 late Friday in New York.

In Taiwan, the stock benchmark rose 0.7% to notch another 28-year closing high. In New Zealand stocks again underperformed. As has been the case in recent sessions, early gains evaporated around midday and the NZX 50 ended at session lows, down 0.4%. Milk exporters were a noted laggard.

In Indonesia, the JSX Composite Index closed 0.3% lower. The loss came as a mezzanine balcony at the Jakarta stock exchanged collapsed during lunch, leaving at least 70 people injured (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/injuries-reported-after-balcony-collapses-at-jakartas-stock-exchange-2018-01-15), according to media reports.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 15, 2018 04:33 ET (09:33 GMT)

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