Asian Shares Close Mixed on Worries About Slowing Growth in China

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By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as worries about slowing growth in China and higher interest rates offset easing concerns about the geopolitical risks over Syria.

Investors veered around to the view that weekend missile strikes against Syria by the United States, France and Britain may be a one-off event. U.S President Donald Trump tweeted, “Mission Accomplished” on Saturday, implying that there will not be another strike soon.

Chinese shares hit a fresh six-month low on concerns that mounting risks in the financial system will weigh on growth further down the road.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 48.30 points or 1.5 percent to 3,110.75, posting its worst loss in three weeks, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 492.79 points or 1.6 percent to 30,315.59.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares finished modestly higher after Russia did not respond to the U.S.-led missile strike on Syria. Investors shrugged off polls showing waning support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 56.79 points or 0.3 percent to 21,835.53, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,736.22. Drugmakers, retailers and food companies were among the prominent gainers. Sony gained 0.8 percent and Canon added half a percent despite a firmer yen.

Australian shares rose as investors took Syria tensions in stride. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 12.20 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 5,841.30, and the broader All Ordinaries Index edged up 8.30 points or 0.1 percent at 5,933.

Mining heavyweights ended on a mixed note as investors awaited quarterly production reports. BHP Billiton advanced 0.8 percent, while Rio Tinto shed 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals Group declined 0.9 percent. South32 climbed 3.2 percent after a surge in aluminum prices on concerns about supply disruptions.

The big four banks also closed mixed, while energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Origin Energy gained 1-2 percent after crude oil prices posted their largest weekly gain in almost a year.

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