Asian Shares Mixed As Investors Await U.S., China Data

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as investors braced for key U.S. and Chinese economic data due this week for directional cues.

An update on U.S. inflation may provide insight into the Federal Reserve’s future actions before it convenes next week to decide on rates. China is due to unveil data on industrial output, retail sales and house sale prices this week.

The dollar started the week under pressure, while the Japanese yen surged after comments from Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda stoked hopes that Japan could soon herald a new era away from negative rates.

Gold climbed on dollar weakness, while oil prices slipped from 10-month highs on concerns over China’s economic recovery.

Chinese shares advanced after authorities announced fresh measures to revive activity in the mainland real estate market and make it easier for insurance companies to invest in domestic stocks.

China’s consumer prices returned to positive territory in August, while factory-gate price declines slowed, data showed over the weekend, adding to signs of easing deflationary pressures.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.8 percent to 3,142.78, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.6 percent to 18,096.45 as trading resumed after a long weekend.

Alibaba Group Holding shares tumbled 3.2 percent after the surprise departure of former CEO Daniel Zhang from the technology giant’s cloud computing business.

Japanese shares ended lower, bond yields rose, and the yen appreciated sharply against the dollar after the BOJ chief hinted there is a possibility that the central bank could soon see a shift away from negative rates.

The Nikkei 225 Index slid 0.4 percent to 32,467.76, while the broader Topix Index finished marginally higher at 2,360.48. Chip-related shares such as Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holding gave up 2-3 percent.

Banks and financials topped the gainers list, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Resona Holdings surging 5-7 percent.

Seoul stocks snapped a four-day losing streak, with the Kospi closing up 0.4 percent at 2,556.88. Samsung Electronics, Celltrion, Samsung Biologics and SK Hynix rose 1-2 percent.

Game developer Netmarble soared 8.8 percent on the rising popularity of its new titles.

Australian markets eked out modest gains to snap a four-day losing streak, with banks, miners and energy stocks pacing the gainers.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index rose half a percent to 7,192.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.4 percent higher at 7,387.80.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index fell 0.4 percent to 11,302.41.

U.S. stocks edged up slightly on Friday but moved notably lower for the week on fears of further interest rate hikes this year.

The Dow rose 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both inched up around 0.1 percent.

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