Asian stock market mostly higher as jitters over response to downing of Malaysian plane fade
Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday as anxiety over the downing of a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine eased and investors shifted their focus to U.S. corporate earnings.
Oil declined to near $103 per barrel as concern about Thursday's disaster that roiled markets last week faded.
Seoul's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 2,021.82 ahead of this week's release of quarterly economic growth data. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,542.20. Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore also rose.
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index bucked the regional trend, shedding 0.3 percent to 2,052.94. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
"The market tone is evidently calmer," said Credit Agricole CIB in a report.
The shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane with 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard rattled markets, which worried about how Western governments might react. Most recovered Friday but Russian stocks also were hurt by Washington's announcement Wednesday of new sanctions on individuals and companies in an effort to increase pressure to end the insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
"Investors doubted a strong retaliation from the international community over the downing of MH17 and refocused on earnings in the U.S. instead," said Desmond Chua of CMC Markets in a report.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose less than 0.1 percent to 23,462.18. Taiwan's Taiex added 0.5 percent to 9,443.82.
Investors were looking ahead to U.S. earnings reports amid hopes American economic growth is recovering. Results from Apple, Microsoft and Coca Cola were due out Tuesday and Caterpillar on Thursday.
Jakarta rose 0.6 percent despite tensions over presidential election results due out Tuesday, with both candidates claiming victory. The country has been hurt by weak commodity prices.
Even if the election result is clear cut, "investors will increasingly realize that there have yet to be any concrete signs that growth will be revived in the short term," said Ryan Huang, a strategist for IG Markets, in a report.
In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery was down 11 cents to $103.02 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 6 cents on Friday to close at $103.13.
The euro rose to $1.3537 from $1.3525 late Friday. The dollar fell to 101.23 yen from 101.36 yen.