Asian Stocks Finish Mixed on Wednesday

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday as some disappointing U.S. data added to investor worries about global growth. Brexit-related developments and U.S.-China trade talks also remained on investors’ radar.

Chinese stocks gained ground as a drop in industrial profits in the January-February period added to speculation the government might announce fresh measures to prop up growth.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 25.62 points or 0.9 percent to 3,022.72, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 161.34 points or 0.6 percent to 28,728.25.

Meanwhile, Japanese markets fell as growth worries persisted and many stocks began trading ex-dividend. The Nikkei 225 Index dipped 49.66 points or 0.2 percent to 21,378.73, and the broader Topix closed 0.5 percent lower at 1,609.49.

Investors offloaded stocks with high dividend yields, with Kansai Electric Power plunging 4.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group losing 2.4 percent. Automakers Mazda Motor, Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor and Subaru Corp fell 1-4 percent.

On the other hand, biopharmaceutical firm AnGes Inc soared 9.5 percent as it received government approval for HGF plasmid to treat patients with critical limb ischemia.

Australian markets recovered from early losses to finish marginally higher. Lenders ANZ, Commonwealth and NAB rose between 0.2 percent and half a percent as heads of the top banks faced parliamentary questioning.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto advanced 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, while gold miners such as Newcrest and Northern Star fell over 1 percent after gold declined the most in nearly two weeks in the previous session.

Eclipx Group soared 22.8 percent after it received interest from multiple parties for its Grays and Right2Drive businesses.

Investment manager Challenger rose 1 percent to extend gains from the previous session after expanding a partnership with MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings.

Rare earths miner Lynas Corp advanced 1.9 percent after saying it would not engage with conglomerate Wesfarmers on its “highly conditional” A$1.5 billion takeover offer for the company.

Tech stocks such as Appen, Afterpay Touch and Xero jumped around 2 percent.

Seoul stocks edged lower as investors braced for a gloomy earnings season. The benchmark Kospi eased 3.18 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 2,145.62 in thin trading, dragged down by healthcare stocks.

Tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rose 0.2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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