Fresh Worries Weigh on Asian Stocks, Close Lower

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Wednesday amid renewed Brexit uncertainty after British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to fast track his Brexit deal through parliament.

After suffering another humiliating defeat, Johnson said it was up to the EU to decide whether it wanted to delay Brexit and for how long.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 12.76 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,941.62, as investors kept an eye on developments surrounding Brexit and U.S.-China trade talks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 219.47 points, or 0.8 percent, to 26,566.73.

Hong Kong’s consumer price index rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in September, slower than the 3.5 percent increase in August, a government report showed. The latest inflation rate was the lowest since May, when it was 2.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares eked out modest gains as the yen held stable and investors awaited the start of the corporate earnings season. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 76.48 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,625.38, while the broader Topix closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,638.14.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group lost 2.5 percent after WeWork accepted a financial rescue package from the former. Tech stocks edged lower, with Tokyo Electron falling 4.1 percent and Screen Holdings declining 1.8 percent.

Australian markets recovered from an early sell-off to end nearly flat. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 0.90 points to 6,673.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index edged down 0.40 points to 6,778.20.

Banks ended narrowly mixed, while global miner Rio Tinto edged up 0.4 percent after warning it may close an unprofitable aluminum smelter on New Zealand’s South Island.

Energy stocks finished broadly higher, with Santos rising 1.7 percent after oil prices rose almost 2 percent overnight.

WiseTech Global soared 8.5 percent after the logistics software firm issued a detail rebuttal of allegations against the company by short-seller J Capital Research.

Bubs Australia fell over 2 percent after the infant formula maker expanded the role of Dennis Lin by making him executive chairman.

Seoul stocks fell on profit taking after sharp gains in the previous session. The benchmark Kospi slid 8.24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,080.62 after climbing 1 percent in the previous session.

Shares of Samsung BioLogics soared 8.3 percent amid bets the drugmaker would win a contract manufacturing deal from Biogen.

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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