Asian shares climb as investors track German, New Zealand election results

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Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.59 percent in early trade as automakers and most financials notched gains. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi edged up 0.07 percent to break a four-day losing streak.

Major Asian indexes climbed in early Monday trade as investors digested elections in Germany and New Zealand over the weekend.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.59 percent in early trade as automakers and most financials notched gains. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi edged up 0.07 percent to break a four-day losing streak.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.32 percent, with energy and financials leading gains. The heavily-weighted financials sub-index was up 0.55 percent. Get free equity tips on mobile and more you can call on 9644405056

The Euro and Kiwi Dollar was in focus as markets digested political headlines in the German and New Zealand elections.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party looked set to remain the largest party in the next German parliament, according to a Sunday exit poll. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, together with its sister-party the Christian Social Union, won 32.5 percent of the vote, broadcaster ARD’s exit poll showed. Merkel’s bloc is expected to form a coalition after achieving a poorer-than-expected result.

Meanwhile, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was expected to become the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag since World War II, with an indicated 13.5 percent of the vote.

The euro firmed after initially sliding on the uncertainty. The common currency stood at USD 1.1929 at 8:36 a.m. HK/SIN after touching as low as USD 1.1895 earlier.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand election saw Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party win the most votes, although it came short of securing a majority in parliament. That weighed on the Kiwi Dollar, which fell to its lowest levels in about a week, as investors tracked coalition negotiations. The currency stood at USD 0.7286 at 8:19 a.m. HK/SIN, off the USD 0.73 handle seen most of the previous week.

Stateside, US equities closed mostly unchanged on Friday but made gains on the week. The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 0.04 percent, or 9.64 points, to close at 22,349.59.

The pound was on the radar after Moody’s downgraded Britain’s sovereign credit rating over the weekend to Aa2 from Aa1. Investors also weighed British Prime Minister’s highly-anticipated Brexit speech in Florence on Friday, which turned up few specifics as to what the transition period would look like before the U.K. left the EU completely. Sterling traded at USD 1.3513 at 8:21 a.m. HK/SIN compared with as high as USD 1.3595 on Friday.

In individual stocks, Fonterra rose 0.16 percent in early trade after the dairy company reported on Monday that full-year profit declined 11 percent to NZ USD 745 million (USD 542 million). Revenue for the year rose 12 percent to NZ USD 19.2 billion (USD 13.98 billion).

Over in Japan, Toshiba fell 1.66 percent in early trade, underperforming other tech stocks. The conglomerate had announced last week that it would sell its memory chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital, although stumbling blocks could lie ahead.

In other currencies, the Dollar index, which tracks the greenback against major rivals, stood at 92.309, a touch higher than the 92.1 handle seen at the end of last week. The US currency also firmed against the Japanese yen to 112.44.

On the energy front, oil prices were steady after rising on Friday when oil producers announced they could wait until next year to make a decision on output cut extensions. Brent crude slipped 0.04 percent to trade at USD 56.84 a barrel and US crude edged down 0.1 percent to USD 50.61.

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