Asian Shares Mixed As China Data DisappointsAugust 21, 2023
Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as a broad array of Chinese economic data missed expectations and the country’s central bank cut a key interest rate in an effort to boost flagging growth.
While the yen hit its lowest level since November, the dollar index eased from a five-week high hit in the previous session.
Gold hovered near five-month lows while oil extended overnight losses on China demand concerns.
China’s Shanghai Composite index fluctuated before finishing marginally lower at 3,176.18 as investors reacted to weak July consumer and business activity figures and the central bank’s decision to cut two key interest rates to shore up the struggling economy.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.03 percent to 18,581.11 on concerns about China’s frozen property sector and the outsized exposure of China’s shadow banks.
China’s industrial output and retail sales slowed last month, and fixed-asset investment growth also lost more momentum, suggesting that more support is needed to revitalize flagging economic growth.
Japanese shares advanced after data showed GDP grew for a third straight quarter in the April-June period, helped by brisk auto exports and tourist arrivals.
The Nikkei average rose 0.56 percent to 32,238.89 as chip-related shares followed their U.S. peers higher. The broader Topix index settled 0.41 percent higher at 2,290.31.
Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings gained between 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent. Sensor maker TDK added 2.5 percent.
Australian markets eked out modest gains as a surprise fall in wages growth in the year to June added to the case for the Reserve Bank to keep rates on hold.
The benchmark S&P ASX 200 rose 0.38 percent to 7,305 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended 0.36 percent higher at 7,520.40.
Healthcare stocks paced the gainers, with heavyweight CSL climbing 3.7 percent after posting a 10 percent rise in its full-year underlying profit. Cochlear surged 5.7 percent and Pro Medicus rallied 4.2 percent.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 index ended marginally lower at 11820.74. Markets in South Korea and India were closed for holidays.
U.S. stocks rose overnight, with technology stocks leading the surge on growing hopes of a soft landing in the U.S. economy and a rating upgrade of Nvidia by Morgan Stanley.
The Dow edged up marginally, the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 1 percent.
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