Asian Shares Mixed As Recession Worries Resurface
(RTTNews) - Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday as trade worries persisted and government bond yields edged back towards record lows, raising fears of an imminent recession.
China's Shanghai Composite Index ended down 8.44 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,893.76, a day after the government announced several measures to boost consumption. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.2 percent to 25,615.48.
Meanwhile, Japanese shares rose modestly, with defensive stocks rising as the downgrading of South Korea's trade status took effect. The Nikkei average inched up 23.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,479.42, while the broader Topix ended little changed with a positive bias at 1,490.35.
Telecommunication company NTT climbed 2.6 percent, mobile carrier KDDI advanced 2.5 percent and NTT Docomo added 1.9 percent.
Australian markets finished modestly higher, led by mining and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 29.40 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,500.60, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 35.20 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,600.80.
Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rallied 1.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively while energy stocks such as Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy gained 1-2 percent.
Gold miners Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining jumped around 3 percent after gold prices rose to a near six-and-a-half year closing high overnight.
Afterpay Touch Group soared 9.3 percent after saying growth in the United States was exceeding its expectations.
On the other hand, banks ANZ, Commonwealth and NAB fell between half a percent and 1.3 percent on concerns that a deepening debt yield curve inversion may compress their profitability.
Troubled wealth manager AMP shed 0.9 percent after suffering another rating downgrade. Macquarie Group shares were in a trading halt ahead of a capital raising.
Infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia dropped 1.4 percent as it reported a 49 percent fall in full-year profit on lower revenues.
Seoul shares advanced following weightage changes in the MSCI index. The benchmark Kospi climbed 16.49 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,941.09 even as Japan officially removed South Korea from a list of preferred trading partners.
Hyundai Motor shares rallied 2 percent after the company reached a tentative wage deal with its workers' union.
New Zealand shares rallied as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp. raised its earnings view for the current fiscal year. While shares of the medical device maker soared over 6 percent, the benchmark S&P NZX-50 index ended up 113.01 points, or 1.1 percent, at 10,626.17.
Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Adrian Orr said today that monetary policy is still effective at its current accommodative settings but needs to be paired with broader fiscal and structural reforms to work.
Overnight, U.S. stocks turned lower as bond yields slipped again on uncertainty over progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped half a percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eased around 0.3 percent.
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