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ASIA MARKETS: Asia Markets Get Off To Smooth Start After Last Week's Rough Patch

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02/12/2018 | 04:03am CEST

By Kevin Kingsbury and Kenan Machado

Major indexes start off 0.5% higher ahead of Lunar New Year break

Asian stocks began the week on a calm note after a late rally Friday on Wall Street and the worst week in years for many global stock benchmarks.

   Markets in China  , South Korea   and Taiwan   were all at least 0.5% higher. 

"Investors are still trying to catch their breath after the roller-coaster ride" across asset classes last week, said OCBC Bank in Singapore.

Trading will be impacted this week by the coming Lunar New Year holiday and Taiwan will be the first market to go on break starting tomorrow.

In Australia , stocks were lower. Energy stocks weakened 0.9% after slumping 9.8% last week, as oil prices skidded to their lowest 2018 levels late last week.

Oil futures rose nearly 1% in Asian trading Monday after selling last week on signs that American output will keep rising.

Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures were recently up 0.5% after Friday's 1.5% gain. It fell 5.2% last week.

Markets in Tokyo were shut for a holiday. But the yen saw early gains following reports that Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda will be reappointed for another term. This likely means easy money policies won't end soon, said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at forex broker AxiTrader.

"The factions within the BOJ who have been talking about a change in the policy are not yet in the ascendancy," he added.

Elsewhere, Singapore's stock benchmark was barely in positive territory as Singapore Exchange (S68.SG) slumped 7% to a one-year low. India's three main stock exchanges moved to stop licensing market data for offshore derivatives products linked to Indian stock indexes.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.40% 24744.68 Delayed Quote.1.19%
NASDAQ 100 0.05% 6901.9926 Delayed Quote.7.35%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.02% 7380.443 Delayed Quote.6.53%
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