Japanese Smart-Grid Tech Company Shares Rise, Oil and Coal Stocks Sink in Asia

Asian markets closed mostly lower Monday. China's Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.2%, ending the day at 2,977 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.6% to close at 21,079. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was unchanged, remaining at 10,752.

The prospect of China spending $586 billion on building an energy smart grid
in the next 10 years sent shares in Japanese tech companies that specialize in energy transmission soaring today, according to Bloomberg. A smart grid delivers power around the country, and has an intelligent monitoring system, which not only keeps track of all the energy coming in from diverse sources, but can detect where energy is needed through a two-way communication system that collects data about how and when consumers use power. It is safer in many ways, including being more resistant to attack and power outages.

While (IBM) IBM is providing many smart grid services to China, Japanese companies are also expected to benefit from the increased demand for specialized technology. Today Fuji Electric Holdings soared 8.9%, Nissin Electric surged 6%, Takaoka Electric Manufacturing climbed 4.1%, Toko Electric advanced 3.5% and Osaki Electric rose 2.6%.

Some Japanese electronics makers gained value today. Clarion, which makes car stereos, rocketed up 6%, Sharp rose 0.9%, NEC gained 0.8%, Sanyo added 0.7% and Sony inched up 0.4%. Canon climbed 3% on hopes that the camera maker will report higher earnings. JVC Kenwood was among those that sank lower today. The stereo maker tumbled 14%, while Casio Computer slid 1% and Panasonic declined 0.8%.

In China, the oil and coal producers that provide traditional sources of energy slid lower today. China Shenhua Energy lost 2.2%, China Coal Energy dropped 1.9% and PetroChina slid 1.3%.

Chinese airlines also lost value with China Southern Airlines falling 3%, and Air China losing 1.9%, but China Eastern Airlines gained 0.9%.

In Hong Kong, shares in energy and oil companies also fell. China Coal Energy dived 4.3% and Cnooc dipped 0.5%. Hong Kong-listed shares in China Shenhua tumbled 3.9%. PetroChina slid 2.3% with Bloomberg reporting that Arrow Energy could reject a takeover bid from the oil and natural gas company. Despite today's dip in energy shares, as Chinese lifestyles improve, demand for energy in the world's most populous country can only go up.