Asian shares notch slim gains, with geopolitics and earnings in view – CNBC

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Asian markets notched slim gains in early Monday trade, as investors digested the softer close on Wall Street and elevated geopolitical tensions on the back of U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.11 percent as the broader Topix added 0.05 percent. The financials sector was weaker on the whole, while precision machinery stocks were higher by 0.75 percent.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi edged up by 0.17 percent, with large cap technology stocks contributing to the index’s overall advance.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 tacked on 0.14 percent. Materials stocks advanced 1.04 percent in the morning, although heavily weighted financials slipped.

U.S. stock index futures were also trading higher during early Asia hours. As of 8:14 p.m. ET, the implied open for Dow futures was up around 159 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also in the green.

Markets appeared to mostly shrug off the latest developments in Syria in the early going following U.S.-led precision missile strikes in Syria on Friday U.S. time. The strikes, carried out in conjunction with the U.K. and France, were intended to serve as a deterrent against chemical weapons, according to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The airstrikes on Friday “have thus far drawn only verbal condemnation from Russia … with Russia’s prediction of ‘global chaos’ if the West hits Syria again not filling markets with fresh dread, at least judging from the limited foreign exchange market movements evident in the first two hours of the new trading week,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a note.

Against the yen, the dollar was a touch firmer at 107.47 at 8:02 a.m. HK/SIN.

Stocks stateside had declined on Friday, weighed down by bank earnings. Results released last week by Citigroup, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase surpassed analyst expectations, and traded higher before falling as markets had already priced in the strong results.

On the commodities front, both U.S. West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude were slightly softer after recording their best week since July on Friday.

U.S. crude futures slipped 0.37 percent to trade at $67.14 per barrel after rising more than 8 percent last week. Brent crude futures were lower by 0.43 percent at $72.27.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against six major peers, stood at 89.804.

Here’s the economic calendar for Monday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 12:00 p.m.: Indonesia trade data
  • 12:00 p.m.: Malaysia unemployment
  • 2:30 p.m.: India wholesale price index