Asian Equities Turn Mixed as Japan Keeps Monetary Policy Steady

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as China’s official manufacturing PMI for October missed economists’ expectations and the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady, as widely expected.

An official survey showed China’s manufacturing sector growth softened more than expected in October largely due to weak new orders. The manufacturing PMI fell to 51.6 from 52.4 in September.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 90.65 points or 0.3 percent to 28,245.54, extending losses for a second consecutive session, although China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up 4.17 points or 0.1 percent to 3,394.50.

Japanese shares ended nearly flat as the dollar dipped versus the yen and preliminary figures showed Japanese industrial production dropped a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-over-month in September, reversing a 2.0 percent increase in August.

A separate report revealed that the country’s jobless rate held steady for the third straight month in September, in line with expectations.

The Nikkei 225 Index edged down just 0.06 points to 22,011.61, while the broader Topix Index dipped 0.3 percent to end at 1,765.96. At the end of a two-day policy meeting, the Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus program unchanged while slashing its inflation forecasts.

SoftBank shares slumped 4.6 percent in the wake of reports that the company plans to call off talks to merge its Sprint Corp. unit with T-Mobile U.S. amid a failure to agree on ownership of the combined entity.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp dropped 1.5 percent after reporting its second-quarter results. Banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui ended down 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Australian shares erased early gains to end a tad lower, dragged down by banks and miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 10.10 points or 0.2 percent to 5,909, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 7.30 points or 0.1 percent lower at 5,976.40.

The big four banks fell between 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent. Lower iron ore prices weighed on miners, with Rio Tinto losing 0.8 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group tumbling 2.1 percent.

BHP Billiton eased 0.3 percent after saying a Brazilian court has extended the deadline for negotiating a settlement of public civil claims over the November 2015 Samarco fatal dam disaster to November 16th

Origin Energy declined half a percent despite reporting a 58 percent jump in its September quarter oil and gas revenue.

Meanwhile, gold miner Evolution rallied 2.2 percent after gold prices rose overnight. Grocery chain Woolworths advanced 2.3 percent after it reported a 3.7 percent increase in first-quarter sales.

Woodside Petroleum climbed 1.6 percent after Brent oil prices closed above $60 a barrel on Monday amid hopes for an output-cut extension.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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