Plus   Neg

Asian Markets End Mixed Amid Light Holiday Trading

Asian markets failed to hold early gains and ended mixed on Monday, as investors were reluctant to pick up stocks amid a lack of positive triggers. Many of the major markets in the region were closed for Easter Monday.

Chinese stocks retreated amid speculation the government may slow down monetary easing. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 55.75 points or 1.7 percent to 3,215.04.

The markets in Indonesia and India also fell sharply, with Indian stocks weighed down by a weaker rupee and higher crude oil prices.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index inched up 17.34 points or 0.1 percent to 22,217.90, supported by gains in the financial, automobile and chemical sectors.

Shares of Daiwa House Industry Co. jumped nearly 7%, Familymart surged up 5.7% and Toho ended higher by about 3.1%.

Yahoo Japan, Aeon, Seven & i Holdings, Mitsui OSK Lines, Konami Corp., Odakyu Electric and Inpex Corp. also posted notable gains.

On the other hand, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co. shares declined more than 4%. Credit Saison, Showa Denko K.K., Furukawa Electric, Chiyoda Corp. and Sumco Corp. lost 2 to 3.4%.

Shares of Chinese oil drilling companies rose, after crude oil prices soared to a near six-month high on reports the U.S. is likely to toughen its sanctions on Iran.

According to a Washington Post report, the U.S. is likely to announce that buyers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports soon, or be subject to U.S. sanctions. China, India and South Korea are among the major buyers of Iranian oil.

Markets in Taiwan and Singapore edged up marginally, while stocks in South Korea and Malaysia ended nearly flat.

The markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong remained closed for the Easter Monday holiday.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Follow RTT