Global Equities Pause After Rally

By Lucy CraymerFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Asian markets cooled by late morning Friday, pausing the global stock rebound that began a day earlier.

The Nikkei rose as much as 1.8% but finished morning trading up just 0.2% as the yen made broad gains, especially against the sagging U.S. dollar.

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The WSJ Dollar Index was recently down 0.4% and just off its worst level of the week. The greenback fell 0.5% to Yen112.45 from Yen113.10 in early Asian trading.

Exporters like Sony and Honda, which were up more than 2% earlier, ended the morning less than 1% higher, while Toyota fell 0.6%. The Nikkei's early jump put the index in position to log a 10th-straight weekly gain, something it hasn't done since January 2013. But heading into the afternoon session, it was down 1.2% from last Friday's close.

Indexes in Hong Kong and South Korea also pulled back from initial advances of at least 1%, with the Kospi up just 0.2% as Samsung's early strength faded.

Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore maintained their gains of nearly 1%.

Investors are looking to buy on the dips, so "everyone has jumped into the market this morning" following the global declines to start this week, said Margaret Yang, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. She noted interest was being seen particularly in industry leaders such as Tencent. The Chinese internet heavyweight rose 2% in Hong Kong to hit fresh record highs.

Stocks rebounded globally on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite hitting a record high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posting their biggest daily percentage gains in two months.

Indian stocks could outperform when that market opens. The rupee rallied after Moody's moved India's credit rating higher into investment-grade territory--the rating firm's first upgrade of the country since January 2004. The dollar was down 0.7%, reversing its November rebound against the Indian currency.

In China, the Shenzhen Composite slid 1.1% amid continued worries following this week's disappointing manufacturing data for October.

However, Will Leung, head of investment strategy at Standard Chartered Bank, said there might be a pickup in Chinese-listed stocks, which have lagged behind the sizable gains seen in many Asian markets this year. Asian equities could enter a consolidation period going into year-end as there are few significant drivers to continue propelling prices higher into the new year, he added.

Oil prices were mixed in Asian trading after hitting fresh two-week lows overnight. The U.S. benchmark was up 0.3% while the global Brent standard was off 0.2%; the latter has fared worse than West Texas Intermediate in recent days.

Write to Lucy Craymer at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2017 22:58 ET (03:58 GMT)