Global Stocks Muted After U.S. Government Shutdown -- 2nd Update

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Market reaction in Asia after the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government was muted Monday, with little movement in stocks and other asset classes.

However, Samsung Electronics fell against a backdrop of increased caution over demand for rival Apple's most expensive iPhone.

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Investors were generally looking past the U.S. budget impasse, with the situation largely seen as "political brinkmanship with little economic impact," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index was recently flat after slight declines earlier in the day, while S&P 500 futures eased 0.1% and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 2.64% from 2.66% earlier.

Samsung was recently down 2.2%, as South Korea's Kospi index fell 0.7%. Before Monday, the benchmark had traded up in five of the past six days.

While the South Korean company has its own line of smartphones, it is also a global manufacturer of components. Samsung's next-generation displays feature organic light-emitting diodes, or OLED. Apple uses Samsung's technology for the iPhone X.

S.K. Kim, who tracks Samsung for Daiwa Securities, said there were some concerns Apple could stop using OLED screens because of quality issues.

They come as iPhone X sales continue to be a source of concern. After channel checks with Apple vendors by Taiwan-based Daiwa analyst Kylie Huang, the brokerage firm now expects first-quarter orders to be 20% to 30% below its previous forecasts.

Apple audio supplier AAC Technologies declined 2.4% in Hong Kong and Japan's Alps Electric, which makes sensors, dropped 1.5%. However, smartphone-lens company Largan Precision and Apple product assembler Hon Hai were little changed in Taiwan.

That market, home to a number of companies in Apple's supply chain, hit a 28-year high as the Taiex rose 0.7%, led by a 2.4% jump in Taiwan Semiconductor, its biggest component. The stock rallied 7.8% last week after strong fourth-quarter results.

Shares in Shenzhen rebounded strongly after a period in which Chinese investors focused on large-capitalization names, many of which are listed in Shanghai.

Bargain-hunting was occurring in Shenzhen, said First Shanghai Securities equities strategist Linus Yip, especially after a report last week showed the city's economic output surpassed 2 trillion yuan ($313 billion) in 2017.

Shenzhen's startup-heavy ChiNext price index hit a six-month low in morning trading but was recently up 2.2%.

The Shanghai Composite index was essentially flat after Chinese regulators fined Shanghai Pudong Development Bank 462 million yuan for falsifying loan applications and covering up bad-debt levels. The penalty was actually good news for foreign investors as it indicates a move toward transparency, said a Singapore-based analyst with a foreign bank.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell for a fifth straight session, down 0.2% to levels last seen in early December. The country's big banks again fell.

Write to Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 22, 2018 02:03 ET (07:03 GMT)

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