Asia bourses mixed as crude’s fall weighs Australia’s oil majors

Asian stock markets traded mixed Monday, with falling crude oil prices weighing on Australian oil majors’ shares.

Down Under, the ASX 200 closed up 0.15 percent, or 8.01 points, at 5,475.4, buoyed by the materials subindex up 0.4 percent, and the financial sector, which was higher by 0.47 percent. The Australian benchmark’s gains were offset by losses in its energy subindex, which fell 0.81 percent.

Among Australian oil majors, Santos fell 2.82 percent, Oil Search was lower by 1.46 percent and Origin Energy slid 1.07 percent.

Crude oil prices recovered from earlier losses of more than 1 percent; U.S. crude futures were trading down 0.72 percent at $49.44 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent was down 0.65 percent at $51.60.

In South Korea, the Kospi finished up 0.15 percent, or 3.02 points, to 2,056.82, recovering from earlier losses of more than 0.53 percent.

Mainland Chinese markets were higher, resuming trade on Monday after the Golden Week hiatus. The Shanghai composite closed up 1.45 percent, or 43.44 points, at 3,048.143, while the Shenzhen composite ended up 1.893 percent, or 37.775 points, at 2,033.383.

Over in Thailand, the SET index was down 2.97 percent, likely due to Sunday’s news that 88-year old King Bhumibol Adulyadej was in unstable condition after receiving hemodialysis treatment. The dollar/baht currency pair was trading up 0.49 percent, as of 2:49 pm HK/SIN.

Markets in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan were shut for public holidays.

In Australia, shares of Macquarie Group were up 0.26 percent, after the Financial Times reported that the Australian bank was in final negotiations to acquire the Green Investment Bank in a 2 billion pound ($2.49 billion) deal.

Spanish-controlled engineering contractor CIMIC Group said on Monday that it would offer A$3.15 a share to buy the stock it doesn’t already own in rival UGL. The cash bid was equivalent to a 47.2 percent premium on Friday’s closing price, and UGL stock surged 48.6 percent on the news, while CIMIC Group was up 0.59 percent.

In June, UGL had warned that delays at one of its largest oil and gas projects would hurt profit, which sent its shares down by one-third in one day, Reuters reported.

Also on Monday, Australian Mines shares climbed 54.55 percent, after Reuters reported news of project acquisitions.

In South Korea, Samsung Electronic’s shares fell 1.52 percent, after the smartphone maker said it would temporarily suspend Note 7 production following reports of fires in replacement devices, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Singapore-listed Noble Group’s shares rose 6.77 percent, after it announced the sale of its U.S. energy unit to Calpine, in a deal valued at $1.05 billion. The embattled commodity trader’s shares have fallen 32.19 percent year-to-date.

Source: CNBC