Asia-Pacific Stocks: Japan, Australia Gain as China, Korea Slip

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Thursday following yesterday's rout, with benchmark indices in Japan and Australia higher, while Korea and mainland China dipped.

Stocks in mainland China dropped, with the Shanghai Composite closing 0.67% lower, while the CSI 300 Index, which tracks large cap companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 1.11%. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index had an up and down day to eventually close 0.26% up boosted by buying in some of the index's top performing stocks of the year. Chinese internet giant Tencent (700.HK) gained 3.2%, while Ping An Insurance (2318.HK) advanced 2.7%. Shares in smartphone suppliers AAC Technologies (2018.HK) and Sunny Optical (2382.HK) jumped 3.53% and 2.66%, respectively, after a report by Daiwa suggesting they may be key beneficiaries of wider adoption of 3D sensing technology.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX closed up for the first time in four trading sessions, gaining 0.5% as bank stocks continued to rebound. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AU) edged up 0.5%, ANZ (ANZ.AU) was up 0.85%, Westpac (WBC.AU) advanced 1.3%, while National Australia Bank (NAB.AU) nudged up 0.7%. Mining stocks dropped again amid the recent turbulence in copper and iron ore prices. BHP Billiton (BHP.AU) slipped 0.2%, Fortescue Metals (FMG.AU) fell 0.4%, and South32 (S32.AU) declined 0.6%. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto (RIO.AU) gained 0.9%. Corporate Travel Management (CTD.AU) was the best performer, jumping 4.68% after being upgraded to buy from neutral by Morgans Financial as it expects the travel consultant to deliver double-digit earnings growth over the next couple of years. Salmon producer Tassal Group (TGR.AU) slumped more than 6% after being downgraded to underweight from overweight by JPMorgan.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 1.45% up, while the broader Topix index closed 1.2% higher, boosted by a rebound in tech stocks. Games console maker Nintendo (7974.JP) jumped 35, while semiconductor maker Tokyo Electron (8035.JP) gained 4.9%. The best performer on the Nikkei was chemical producer Asahi Kasei (3407.JP) which jumped 5.44% after being upgraded to buy from neutral by Okasan Securities. Chiyoda (6366.JP) slumped more than 6.5% after the engineering company was cut to underperform from neutral by SMBC Nikko.

Elsewhere, Korea's KOSPI index closed 0.5% lower, with Kumho Tire (073240.KR) plunging 29% after reports that creditor Korea Development Bank may seek a pre-packaged debt restructuring plan, which would allow the tire maker to enter into receivership. Taiwan's tech-heavy TAIEX extended its losses for the week, closing 0.37% lower.

European markets are higher with the Euro STOXX 50 up 0.19%, the German DAX 0.22% higher, while the France CAC 40 has nudged up 0.16%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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