Asian markets up, Samsung hit by new Note 7 crisis


Most Asian markets rose in holiday-thinned trade Monday and the dollar struggled to break back after last week’s softer-than-forecast US jobs data, while Samsung Electronics took a hit as its Galaxy Note 7 crisis resurfaced.

The labour department said Friday that fewer jobs than expected were created in the world’s top economy in September.

The news left all three main indexes on Wall Street in negative territory and sent the dollar lower against the yen Friday.

However, analysts said the figures were unlikely to prevent the Federal Reserve lifting interest rates by year’s end.

“The jobs numbers were good enough to keep a Fed rate hike on track for December, but not strong enough to signal a quickening in the pace of Fed hikes — it’s still going to be very gradual,” Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg News.

In early trade on Monday, the dollar was at 102.95 yen from 102.93 yen in New York but well down from the 103.87 yen earlier Friday in Asia.

The pound was stuck at 31-year lows against the dollar, after a flash crash in Asia Friday saw it plunge, with investors on edge over Britain’s plans to leave the European Union. Analysts said it was unclear if the sudden plunge was down to a computer generated sell-off or other reasons but saw Brexit at the root of it.

– Trump crisis –

In share trading, Shanghai, which was closed last week for a national holiday, was up 0.5 percent, while Sydney gained 0.3 percent and Jakarta put on 0.3 percent. However, Singapore and Wellington eased.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei were closed for public holidays.

Seoul was flat, with Samsung Electronics battered by news that US telecoms firm ATT and German rival T-Mobile had stopped exchanges of the Note 7 pending probes into reports some new handsets had caught fire.

Samsung announced a recall of 2.5 million gadgets last month after complaints that some had exploded owing to a battery problem. The firm said it would exchange the devices but there have been reports that the batteries in the new handsets have also been involved in fires.

Samsung fell 3.5 percent in morning trade.

Buying sentiment was given a lift by the emergence of a tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, which analysts said could deal a severe blow to his hopes of winning the presidential election next month.

“This is dangerously close to the election, so it?s harder for him to recover,” AMP Capital Investors’ Oliver said.

“It tends to be the case that when it looks more likely that Clinton will win, markets tend to rally. Much will depend on the debate and we will be watching how Trump handles the issue in the debate and what Clinton makes of it.”

– Key figures around 0225 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a public holiday

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: Closed for a public holiday

Dollar/yen: UP at 102.95 yen from 102.93 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2432 from $1.2435

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.00 pence from 90.01 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1191 from $1.1196

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 48 cents at $49.33 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 47 cents at $51.46

New York – DOW: DOWN: 0.2 percent at 18,240.49 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,044.39 (close)

© 2016 AFP

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