Asian Stocks Close Mixed Amid Struggle for Direction
By Investors Hub
Asian stocks struggled for direction before finishing on a mixed note on Tuesday, as dismal business activity readings in Europe deepened fears of a looming recession and investors awaited fresh developments in the U.S.-China trade standoff.
Chinese stocks advanced on renewed optimism that policymakers will step up efforts to stabilize economic growth. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 8.26 points, or 0.3 percent, to finish at 2,985.34, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 58.60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,281.
Japanese stocks ended roughly flat as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend. The Nikkei 225 Index ended marginally higher at 22,098.84, while the broader Topix closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,622.94, a five-month high.
Investors shrugged off survey results from IHS Markit showing that Japan’s private sector expanded at a slightly slower pace in September as manufacturing activity contracted further amid rising external headwinds.
Tech stocks surged, with Advantest climbing 1.8 percent and Tokyo Electron adding 1.2 percent. Exporters Panasonic, Honda Motor and Canon dropped 1-2 percent as the dollar held little changed against the yen.
Market heavyweight SoftBank gave up 1.8 percent and Fast Retailing declined 1.2 percent. Nissan Motor shed 1 percent as the carmaker and its former chief executive Carlos Ghosn agreed to pay a combined $16 million to settle U.S. fraud charges.
Oriental Land rose over 3 percent on news the Tokyo Disney Resort operator would raise theme park admission fees beginning October 1.
Australian markets ended flat with a negative bias, with financials and gold miners surging while lower copper prices weighed on the mining sector.
Banks ANZ, NAB and Westpac rose between 0.4 percent and 1.3 percent ahead of a speech by RBA Governor Philip Lowe later in the day.
Gold miner Newcrest rallied 2 percent and Northern Star jumped 3 percent after gold prices rose to a more than two-week high overnight on the back of recession fears.
Mining heavyweight BHP dropped 1 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group lost 2.7 percent.
Seoul stocks gained ground for the 13th straight day as investors looked forward to the next round of U.S.-China trade talks. The benchmark Kospi climbed 9.34 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,101.04.
Hyundai Motor gained 0.8 percent and Hyundai Mobis jumped 3.2 percent on news they will form a $4 billion joint venture to develop a self-driving platform with Aptiv.