Finance stocks push Japan market higher; BHP shares down in Australia despite $10.52 billion profit

<p>Asian markets were stronger today with the Nikkei and Hang Seng up both around 0.6%. In Japan the Financials Sector was trading up around 2% […]</p>

Asian markets were stronger today with the Nikkei and Hang Seng up both around 0.6%.

In Japan the Financials Sector was trading up around 2% and the Oil and Gas Sector was down roughly 1.2%. The Topix index is set for its longest winning since August 2009. Toshiba Corp, the world’s second largest maker of flash memory advanced 3% after Nikko Cordial Securities raised its rating to outperform from neutral.
In Hong Kong, stock rose for the third time in four days as steelmakers gained after price increases in the industry, countering a drop in developers on concern of China’s further policy to cool property prices. Angang Steel Co, Hong Kong’s biggest listed Chinese steelmaker, climbed 2.1% after the Apple Daily said rival Wuhan Iron 7 Steel Co raised its prices.

In Australia, the local market traded mostly lower (to flat) today despite solid and healthy profit results from BHP Billiton, which reported a $10.52 billion profit (last night).

Today’s market movement is a classic example of investors buying the rumour and selling the fact. We’ve seen investors building long positions on BHP for several weeks now and this has helped push BHP share price. Now that the fact is out (that BHP is very profitable), we saw some money getting out of this stock.
Much of the trading activity we saw in the market today was based on company reporting. Investors are definitely on the lookout for strong performers.
We have a mixture of positive and negative results today. Bank of Queensland has cut its profit guidance due to the impact of the floods in Queensland. On the other hand, News Corp shares were going – up by about 1.79 per cent.

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