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Asian Shares Mostly Slip on Stimulus Worries, Japan Gains on Hopes of Pension Fund Investing

Asian stocks declined amid fears the Federal Reserve will slow its bond-buying program.

The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index for the U.S. rose to 56 in July, beating the median estimate of 53.1 and June's 52.2 reading. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher also said the Fed is closer to slowing bond purchases.

Hong Kong stocks were weighed overnight, too, by disappointing earnings from HSBC ( HBC ).

However, Japanese stocks got a boost after Reuters reported the pension fund for Japan's civil servants is considering investing more of its $80 billion in stocks and less in domestic government bonds. The account quoted people Reuters said were familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Australia's central bank cut interest rates to an all-time low of 2.5%, as expected.

In ADR news, Sony ( SNE ) says its board rejected billionaire Daniel Loeb's call to sell a portion of its entertainment business, saying 100% ownership is crucial to the company's success.

The Nikkei ended up 1% at 14,401.06, the Hang Seng down 1.34% at 21,923.70 and the Straits Times down 0.52% at x3,224.89.

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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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