Asian markets mixed ahead of US election

Asian markets were mixed on Monday as better-than-expected US jobs figures were offset by caution ahead of this week's US presidential election and the start of China's leadership transition.

The dollar remained elevated against the yen and euro after Friday's employment numbers, but that was unable to support Japan's Nikkei, which also saw profit-taking after last week's healthy gains.

Tokyo fell 0.23 percent, Hong Kong lost 0.20 percent, Shanghai was flat, Sydney was up 0.10 percent and Seoul was 0.29 percent lower.

Traders were given a bright lead after the US Labor Department said on Friday that the economy created 171,000 jobs in October, far more than the expected 125,000.

And while the jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, that was blamed on more people entering the market.

The encouraging report provided a final snapshot of a slowly improving economy as President Barack Obama battles for re-election Tuesday in a tight race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Wall Street favourite.

US stocks jumped in early trade but ended in the red by the end of trade Friday. The Dow finished down 1.05 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.94 percent and the Nasdaq lost 1.26 percent.

The jobs data also lifted the dollar, sending it to a six-month high of 80.68 yen in New York, before easing to end Friday at 80.47 yen.

In early Asian trade the greenback bought 80.45 yen.

The euro bought $1.2831 and 103.25 yen, down from $1.2835 and 103.30 yen.

Eyes are on the world's two biggest economies this week, with the US presidential election too close to call, while Beijing is expected to anoint its successor to President Hu Jintao.

"The US data (released Friday) were generally positive, but markets are apprehensive ahead of the hotly contested US presidential vote" on Tuesday, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Oil prices were mixed, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, gaining a cent to $84.87 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 12 cents to $105.56.

Gold was at $1,679.90 at 0205 GMT compared with $1,708.90 late Friday.

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Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.2528+0.0005+0.04%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7319+0.0017+0.10%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1052+0.0011+0.05%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.8463+0.064+0.08%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.1887-0.0033-0.05%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.5946+0.009+0.35%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,136.3350+17.4727+0.19%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9712+0.0008+0.02%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1690+0.0003+0.02%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,287.80-6.10-0.47%
    GCM14.CMX
    19.37-0.23-1.15%
    SIK14.CMX
    90.18-0.65-0.72%
    ^XAU
    3.050.00+0.02%
    HGK14.CMX
    103.05-0.32-0.31%
    CLM14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.73+0.08
    ^FVX
    2.72+0.08
    ^TNX
    3.52+0.06
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.113-0.002-1.74%
    B22.SI
    0.135+0.010+8.00%
    545.SI
    2.190.0000.00%
    JS8.SI
    0.605-0.005-0.82%
    E5H.SI
    0.143+0.004+2.88%
    5GB.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.255+0.040+18.60%
    5UE.SI
    0.345+0.045+15.00%
    5DS.SI
    0.18+0.020+12.50%
    T16.SI
    0.19+0.016+9.20%
    540.SI
    0.138+0.011+8.66%
    J74.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.17-0.030-15.00%
    5WD.SI
    0.118-0.014-10.61%
    S71.SI
    0.123-0.013-9.56%
    5FI.SI
    0.20-0.020-9.09%
    D6U.SI
    0.29-0.025-7.94%
    O08.SI