Asian markets muted; South Korean election, Australia budget in focus

Asian Market 1

Asian equities were mostly muted after soaring in the previous trading session with investors focused on key regional events unfolding in the day, including a presidential election in South Korea and the release of the Australian federal budget.

South Koreans take to the polls today to choose a new leader after the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye on bribery charges. The front-runner in the election is Moon Jae-in from the liberal Democratic Party of Korea. Polls show that Moon has secured 38 percent of support from voters among a total of 13 candidates, according to Reuters.

Markets in the country are closed today.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was mostly flat, trading 0.11 percent lower after surging more than 2 percent in the previous session.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index trader higher by 0.3 percent. Markets on the mainland were softer, with the Shanghai Composite sliding 0.2 percent and the Shenzhen Composite lower by 0.119 percent.

In Hong Kong, the suspension in the trade of China Huishan Dairy Holding shares was extended by regulators. Shares of the troubled company plunged 85 percent in March this year.

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