Monday, 20 February 2017

Asia markets open lower, Nikkei down 0.57%, Kospi down 0.1%

Asian markets opened mostly lower on Monday, as investors await further details from President Donald Trump on his economic policies, including tax reforms. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 0.57 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar to trade at 112.94, climbing from levels below 114.4 in the previous week. A stronger yen generally weighs on export-oriented stocks in Japan as it affects their overseas profit margins when funds are converted to the local currency. 

Earlier, Japan said exports rose 1.3 percent in January from a year earlier, showing a slowdown from the previous month due to a decline in US exports and the Chinese New Year holidays for a less than a 4.7 percent increase expected by economists. The trade balance came to a deficit of 1.09 trillion yen (USD 9.66 billion), versus the median estimate for a 636.8 billion yen deficit.

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