Flat finish for Asian stocks into the weekend; Australian listed gaming companies attract more high rollers

<p>Asian stocks were mostly flat going into the weekend after a mixed week which saw the situation in Greece come to a resolution and a […]</p>

Asian stocks were mostly flat going into the weekend after a mixed week which saw the situation in Greece come to a resolution and a continuation of positive economic news outside of the US.

The regional MSCI Asia Pacific index was 0.3% higher in early Tokyo trading but most indices lost ground towards the end of the afternoon. Australia’s S&P/ASX200 was in slightly positive territory – up around 0.2% in late afternoon trading.

In commodities, gold managed to post further gains to last trade at US$1778/oz.

In currencies, the Australian dollar bounced off its intraday low of $1.0716 against the US dollar after comments from Glen Stevens – the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Stevens reaffirmed the comfort of the central bank with the current level of rates and said a further downward response will only be driven by an obvious weakness in demand.

The Euro traded up against the dollar, last at US$1.3370 while the greenback climbed back above 80 against the Japanese Yen, to last settle at 80.11.

In regional corporate news, Crown Limited announced it has increased its holding in listed Australian casino peer Echo entertainment to 10%, enough to block any opportunistic takeover offer. Both casino operators today reported solid earnings numbers, boosted by strong growth in their VIP business, mostly Asian visitors.

Echo – the owner and operator of The Star in Sydney and Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast in Queensland – said its VIP gaming revenue was 99.1% higher than the same period last year at Sydney and 54.9% higher in Queensland.

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