Asia markets finish Monday higher ahead of market holiday in Europe

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While many Asia Pacific markets took the day off, the two major bourses still trading on Monday managed to close higher despite a downward drag from energy stocks hit by a slide in oil prices.

Tokyo’s Topix closed the day up 0.5 per cent with gains in every segment outside of energy, which shed 1.1 per cent. Among the worst performers was Japan Airlines, down 7.3 per cent after the company forecast a 16.6 per cent drop in operating profit for the current financial year.

In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6 per cent despite losses by energy, health care and materials stocks of around 0.1 per cent.

Losses for energy equities came as Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, sank 0.3 per cent in Asia trade to $51.92 a barrel. West Texas intermediate, the US marker, was off 0.2 per cent at $49.24.

The greenback was making broad gains in the Asia afternoon session, with the dollar index measuring it against a basket of peers up 0.1 per cent at 99.151.

The pound was the worst off among major global currencies, falling 0.3 per cent against the dollar to $1.2914. Japan’s yen softened 0.2 per cent to ¥111.7 per dollar, while the euro was down 0.1 per cent at $1.0885.

The yen wasn’t the only haven to lose ground as gold fell 0.4 per cent to $ 1,263.28 per ounce. Bonds in the region were little moved, although yield – which moves opposite price – on 10-year US Treasuries was up 2 basis points at 2.302 per cent.

Major markets in Europe and the UK are off on Monday, leaving a gap between Asian equities markets’ close and the start of trading in the US. Futures currently tip the S&P 500 to climb 0.1 per cent when Monday trading kicks off on Wall Street. The index closed Friday down 0.2 per cent.

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