Asian Shares Mixed As China Tech Worries Weigh
Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as worries grew about China’s crackdown on local tech companies and investors awaited minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting for more clues on tapering.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended down 4.06 points, or 0.1 percent, at 3,530.26, as the country’s cyberspace regulator widened its crackdown on tech platforms, targeting more U.S.-listed companies.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index eased 0.3 percent to close at 28,072.86 after a survey showed the private sector in Hong Kong expanded at a slower pace in June amid dips in both output and new orders.
Japanese shares edged up slightly despite concerns over COVID-19 variants and Fed moves. The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 45.02 points, or 0.2 percent, to 28,643.21, while the broader Topix closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,954.50.
Tech-startup investor SoftBank Group gained 1 percent and air-conditioner maker Daikin Industries jumped 2.6 percent. Industrial machinery manufacturer Hitachi Zozen led the gainers, jumping 4.2 percent.
The average of household spending in Japan was up 11.6 percent year-on-year year in May, a government report showed. That beat forecasts for an increase of 10.9 percent following the 13.0 percent spike in April.
On a monthly basis, household spending was down 2.1 percent – but that beat expectations for a decline of 3.7 percent.
Australian markets gave up early gains to end lower as the country’s central bank left the cash rate at a record low 0.1 percent but said it would begin to pare its bond buying campaign delivered to the economy through the pandemic recession.
Traders also remained concerned about the rising new coronavirus infections in New South Wales and the related lockdown and restrictions.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 53.20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,261.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 57.60 points, or 0.8 percent, at 7,531.40.
Beach Energy, Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search soared 2-5 percent as oil jumped to its highest level in nearly three years.
Miners ended mixed, with Fortescue Metals Group giving up 1.4 percent. Westpac slipped 0.3 percent after the bank sold its New Zealand life insurance business to Fidelity Life.
Gold miner Ramelius Resources slumped 5.4 percent after saying it will miss its upgraded full-year production guidance.
Opthea shares surged 11.1 percent after the biotech was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. FDA for its treatment for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
Seoul stocks hit a record closing high as tech stocks gained ground ahead of the preliminary earnings from Samsung Electronics. The Kospi closed up 12 points, or 0.4 percent, at 3,305.21. Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix advanced 1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
New Zealand shares ended lower, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index falling 53.29 points, or 0.4 percent, to settle at 12,758.93 on expectations of tighter monetary policy as soon as November this year.
Auckland Airport tumbled 3.2 percent on profit taking after the previous session’s surge on news of a takeover bid directed at Sydney Airport. National carrier Air New Zealand climbed 1.9 percent to extend gains from the previous session.
Overnight, U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.
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