Asian Shares Mostly Higher In Cautious Trading
Asian stocks ended Friday’s session mostly higher despite concerns about slowing global growth and bets on early tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Chinese shares ended a choppy session modestly higher, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Ondex rising 6.87 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,613.97.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 252.91 points, or 1 percent, to 24,920.76 after posting its lowest close in 10 months the day before.
China Evergrande Group shares fell a further 3.4 percent as the People’s Bank of China infused liquidity to ease nerves caused by the property giant’s debt crisis.
Japanese shares advanced, with the yen’s weakness and signs of falling new virus cases in the country offering some support. The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 176.71 points, or 0.6 percent, to 30,500.05, while the broader Topix ended 0.5 percent higher at 2,100.17.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced 1.8 percent, while semiconductor components manufacturer Lasertec climbed 2.2 percent and Tokyo Electron added 1.2 percent.
Nippon Steel slumped 6 percent after unveiling plans to sell 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) worth of convertible bonds.
Australian markets ended notably lower as falling iron ore prices hurt miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 56.50 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,403.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 56.90 points, or 0.7 percent, at 7,702.90.
Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto tumbled 4-5 percent as iron ore prices continued to collapse on concerns over weaker demand. Smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group lost 11.5 percent and Mineral Resources gave up 8.5 percent.
IRESS shares slumped 10.7 percent as Swedish private equity group EQT walked away from a takeover bid for the financial data provider.
Seoul stocks eked out modest gains, supported by hopes of an economic recovery from the pandemic. The Kospi average inched up 10.42 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,140.51 ahead of a three-day holiday.
Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rallied 1.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, while Hyundai Heavy Industries closed 86 percent higher from its initial public offering price in its trading debut.
New Zealand share rose sharply, as Fitch upwardly revised the country’s GDP forecast for 2021. The benchmark NZX-50 Index jumped 155.04 points, or 1.2 percent, to finish at 13,234.55.
Investors shrugged off the latest survey results showing that the manufacturing sector in New Zealand fell deeply back into contraction in August on the back of another nationwide lockdown due to a fresh outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
U.S. stocks ended a choppy session narrowly mixed overnight as retail sales and jobless claims figures came in above expectations, giving ammunition to bets on early Fed tapering.
The Dow and the S&P 500 slipped around 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.1 percent.
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