Asian stocks moved mostly lower on Wednesday and the dollar soared as better than expected U.S. retail data raised concerns about an earlier than expected rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 15.58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,537.37 after reports the country plans to let property companies resume issuance of asset-backed securities.
In addition, China Business News reported that China Evergrande Group Chairman Hui Ka Yan injected more than 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in cash to boost the firm’s liquidity.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended down 63.70 points, or 0.3 percent, at 25,650.08 as a short rally in developer and casino stocks ran out of steam.
Japanese shares ended lower as investors reacted to sluggish exports growth and flat core machinery orders data. The Nikkei 225 Index slid 119.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 29,688.33, while the broader Topix closed 0.6 percent lower at 2,038.34.
Automaker Honda Motor shed 1.6 percent, lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group dropped 1.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing declined 1.3 percent.
Semiconductor shares extended recent gains, with Tokyo Electron and Advantest both rising over 3 percent. Energy firms such as Idemitsu Kosan and Inpex rose 1-2 percent on reports that the government is planning subsidies for oil refiners to counter an increase in oil prices.
Australian markets fell after top lender Commonwealth warned of a margin-hit from the low interest rate environment and mortgage competition.
The downside remained capped somewhat as wages data released earlier in the day supported Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s dovish stance.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 50.50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,369.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 43.10 points, or 0.6 percent, at 7,704.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares plunged more than 8 percent after the lender sounded a warning on loan margins. Rivals ANZ, NAB and Westpac lost 1-2 percent.
Miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group gave up 1-2 percent as iron ore prices dropped for a fourth straight session amid a rising greenback.
Seed technology and crop protection maker Nufarm declined 8.6 percent after the company warned of margin pressure from raw material costs.
Seoul stocks tumbled amid inflation worries. The Kospi slumped 34.79 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,962.42. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.8 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix declined 1.3 percent and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gave up 2.5 percent.
New Zealand shares drifted lower, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index ending down 65.31 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,837.40 on concerns about the higher levels of global inflation. Mobile marketing firm Plexure slumped 13.5 percent after it reported a hefty half-year loss.
U.S. stocks advanced overnight as Home Depot and Walmart released results that topped expectations and readings on industrial production and retail sales beat expectations.
The Dow edged up 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8 percent.
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