China, Hong Kong Shares Slip as Japan, Australia Stocks Rally
By Investors Hub
Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as investors awaited Congressional testimony later in the day by new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for further insights into the central bank’s views on inflation and interest rates.
Chinese shares snapped a six-session winning streak as investors locked in some profits. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 38.05 points or 1.1 percent to 3,292.07, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 229.24 points or 0.7 percent to 31,268.66.
Meanwhile, Japanese shares rallied after U.S. stocks hit their highest level in over three weeks overnight amid declining Treasury yields. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 236.23 points or 1.1 percent to 22,389.86, a three-week high, while the broader Topix index closed 0.9 percent higher at 1,790.34.
Exporters Canon, Toyota Motor, Panasonic and Sony rose 1-2 percent. Oil major Inpex jumped 3.1 percent and Japan Petroleum advanced 1.2 percent. Alps Electric and Yaskawa Electric climbed 5-6 percent.
Australian shares extended gains for the fifth consecutive session as rising prices for commodities and a slew of positive earnings reports helped lift mining and energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 14.70 points or 0.2 percent to 6,056.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 13.20 points or 0.2 percent at 6,159.30.
Mining heavyweight BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources jumped 3.6 percent after narrowing its full-year loss.
Fuel supplier Caltex Australia soared over 4 percent after it decided to buy out franchises as part of a major overhaul of its business model.
The big four banks rose between 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent, while energy majors Woodside Petroleum and Santos fell over 1 percent.
On the economic front, Australian consumer confidence improved during the week ended February 25, a weekly survey compiled by the ANZ bank and Roy Morgan Research showed. The consumer confidence index rose 2.3 percent to 117.9 from 115.3 in the preceding week.