Major Asian stocks close mixed on final trading week
Major Asian equities closed mostly lower on the first day of the final trading week for 2015, with the Japanese market advancing, while the South Korean Kospi fell 1 percent and the Shanghai Composite seeing declines of near 2.6 percent.
Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, said in a note last week that shares will likely see their “traditional Santa Claus rally over the Christmas/New Year period as investors take advantage of improved valuations, monetary conditions remain easy and new issuance dries up into year end.”
However, Oliver warned about the Federal Reserve and a strong dollar “possibly weighing on commodity prices and emerging countries may mean that volatility will remain high.”
In the News:
China passed anti-terrorism legislation
over the objections of tech companies and the U.S. government. The new law would, among other things, require Internet companies operating within the country toprovide encryption keys and passwords to the government
when requested. (Re/code)
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei on Monday
said the government would begin next year to “reasonably” set limits on new local government debt
. China will also gradually increase its fiscal deficit ratio
, expand its budget deficit, and cut taxes to support businesses, according to the finance ministry. (Reuters)
Japan and South Korea overcame a significant diplomatic stumbling block
after reaching an agreement on so-called “comfort women”
forced to work in brothels by the Japanese in war time. Japan admitted “deep responsibility” for the issue and will contribute to a fund to help victims. (Reuters)
Iraq announced Monday
that government forces have retaken Ramadi
from Islamic State militants. IS captured the largest city in western Anbar province in May. (Reuters)
Tornadoes, blizzards and heavy rain assaulted
much of the country’s middle section over the weekend, killing more than 20 people
and triggering governors to call for a state of emergency in Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas. (NBC News)
A Chicago officer shot and killed
a male college student and a mother of five, both black, on Saturday
. The police department, which is under federal investigation for its use of deadly force and officer discipline, said the woman’s death was both accidental and tragic
The Wall Street Journal
continued to put a spotlight on Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes
this weekend in a lengthy article, in which former employees and other people with ties to the firm recalled dubious claims and troubling statements
from the executive about the viability of her blood-testing startup’s technology. (WSJ)
STOCKS TO WATCH:
‘s (GOOGL) YouTube was called out by Barron’s for its impressive growth
, enormous user base, and Alphabet’s cash return to investors. Barron’s said shares of Alphabet could rise 30 percent to more than $1,000 in 2016, but warned Facebook
‘s (FB) improving video platform poses a threat.
(AMZN) said its Prime service had a “record-setting” holiday
. More than 3 million members joined Prime in the third week of December, bringing its total membership to “tens of millions,” a spokesperson said. Amazon also said it sold “millions” of its devices, doubling last year’s device sales.
shares jumped about 7 percent on local media reports that Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry
, one of the largest suppliers of electronics products, proposed buying the Japanese company for 300 billion yen ($2.45 billion).
(FDX) was forced to run extra shifts to clear a backlog
of deliveries through Christmas
day. A spokesperson cited a combination of unforeseen volume and severe winter weather for the delay.