Asia markets stay mixed but Japan goes positive in Christmas day trading

Markets in Japan and China were mixed on Christmas Day, with light trading expected on the heels of another record week for Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes gained ground, though both indexes moved only marginally.

China’s Shanghai Composite was down by 0.51 percent at 1:41 p.m. HK/SIN, and the Shenzhen exchange was near 1 percent lower as measured by the SZSE index.

Exchanges in much of the world will remain closed on Monday, including Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Taiwanese stocks were largely flat, moving in a narrow range close to their previous close.

The Japanese yen was lower against the U.S. dollar, while in China, the central bank set its official yuan midpoint at the highest level in over three months at 6.5683 per dollar, Reuters reported.

No major economic data is scheduled for release Monday.

In Tokyo, financials stocks mostly lost ground. Real estate names were mostly higher, Reuters reported.

In corporate news, shares of Japanese construction company Tobishima hit a 7-week high after the company boosted its profit forecast. The company now sees operating profit for the year through March 2018 hitting 6.5 billion yen ($57.37 million), up from 4.4 billion yen (38.85 million) previously.

Tobishima wasn’t alone with an upward revision. Nippon Carbon boosted is operating profit forecast for the year through December 2017 to 2.4 billion yen ($21.2 million). The outlook previously stood at 1.3 billion yen ($11.48 million).

Shares of Nippon Carbon were up as much as 7.2 percent on news.

Denim merchant Jeans Mate leaped more than 14 percent after reporting December existing-store numbers that rose 1.2 percent from the same month last year.

In China, drug company Zhuhai Rundu Pharmaceutical said it planned to make an initial public offering, issuing 25 million shares in the hopes of raising 425.25 million yuan ($64.57 million) on the Shenzhen exchange.

U.S. stocks racked up more weekly gains, though they closed slightly lower for the day on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 posted gains for the fifth straight week, after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that slashes corporate taxes.

Trump’s tax plan cuts the statutory corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, though actual tax rates may drop into the single digits because of corporate deductions that were left in, as CNBC reported Thursday.

Investors have enthused over the tax cuts, which they see prompting major U.S. corporations to buy back stock from shareholders. Source: CNBC