Korean stocks hiccup after missile test, as other Asian markets gain – MarketWatch

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More stock gains were posted early Tuesday in Asia following a holiday-shortened session in the U.S., where fresh selling in tech names continued to weigh across the Pacific.

Meanwhile, South Korean stocks saw a brief, and modest, selloff after North Korea launched another ballistic missile. The Kospi SEU, -0.14%  , which was fighting to stay in positive territory ahead of the news, was recently down 0.1% after dipping 0.4% earlier.

The morning’s standout was Australia, where equities rebounded on the back of buoyant financial, materials and energy stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +1.74%   gained 1.6% after closing Monday at its lowest level in nearly two weeks. The financial, materials and energy subindexes climbed 2%, 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively.

Broadly, upbeat manufacturing data out Monday around the world — including a strong reading out of the U.S. overnight — has brightened market sentiment as the second half of 2017 has begun.

“The main driver was ISM yesterday [and] stocks have been moving higher,” said Tareck Horchani, head of Asia Pacific sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets.

That risk-on atmosphere pressured down the yen, which is good news for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei NIK, +0.43%   gained 0.4% as the dollar rose to ¥113.25.

But investors continue to be cautious for now on what has been a 2017 market darling: Technology.

While the Dow industrials jumped 0.6% in holiday-shortened trading Monday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.5%. That carried into Asia, where the Taiwan’s Taiex index Y9999, -0.20%   fell 0.1% amid a 0.7% drop in the technology subindex. Meanwhile, console and game-maker Nintendo 7974, -3.28%   slid 3.4% in Japan.

There have been several notable drops in the Nasdaq the past few weeks, putting it more than 3% below last month’s latest record high. Norchani notes several investors it has talked to “don’t know where this move is coming from,” and they have started to get “a bit worried” as a result. “So the one to watch for me is the Nasdaq and the technology companies.”

Additionally, incorrect stock-market data hit some traders’ screens Tuesday morning in Asia, with Nasdaq-listed securities including Apple AAPL, -0.36%  , Amazon AMZN, -1.48%   and Microsoft MSFT, -1.10%   for a time all showing the latest stock prices being $123.47 on some platforms including Yahoo Finance, Google Finance and Bloomberg terminals.

Read: Finance sites erroneously show Amazon, Apple, other stocks crashing

In commodities, oil was down modestly in Asian trading after eight straight sessions of gains. Action is set to be light globally on Tuesday amid the Independence Day holiday, further setting the stage for a bit of profit-taking. U.S. and global crude benchmarks were recently down 0.5%.

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