Asian shares broadly lower on Fed tapering talk

Asian Stock Markets
Us Gains Pushes Higher Asian Shares

Asian stocks fell broadly on Tuesday, with both worries about the potential impact of a widening power shortage in China and Fed tapering signals denting sentiment.

Chinese markets advanced after the People’s Bank of China pledged to ensure a “healthy property market” amid the China Evergrande Group crisis. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged up 19.39 points, or 0.54 per cent, to settle at 3,602.22.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended up 291.61 points, or 1.20 percent, at 24,500.39.

China’s industrial profits continued to grow at a slower pace as higher input prices, as well as shortage of materials, lifted production cost, the National Bureau of Statistics said earlier in the day.

Industrial profits increased 10.1 per cent year-on-year in August, following annual growth of 16.4 per cent in July.

Japanese shares ended slightly lower, dragged down by chipmakers and shippers. The Nikkei average dropped 56.10 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 30,183.96, after having rallied more than 7 per cent so far this month in the run-up to the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election.

The broader Topix index closed 0.29 per cent lower at 2,081.77.

Chip heavyweights led losses, with Advantest tumbling as much as 3.6 per cent. Among shippers, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha plunged 14.5 per cent, Nippon Yusen slumped 8.2 per cent and Mitsui OSK Lines lost 7 per cent.

Inpex surged 4.2 per cent and Japan Petroleum Exploration rose 1.3 per cent as oil prices climbed for the sixth day running on supply concerns.

In economic releases, minutes of the Bank of Japan’s meeting on July 15 and 16 revealed the need to stand pat on key stimulus tools amid sluggish inflation.

Australian markets fell sharply, with selling seen across mining, banking, health care and retail sectors. Energy stocks continued to benefit from a rally in oil prices caused by supply shortages.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 108.60 points, or 1.47 per cent, to 7,275.60, after official data showed retail sales fell for a third straight month in August.

The broader All Ordinaries index ended down 109.60 points, or 1.43 per cent, at 7,581.10.

Beach Energy soared 10.5 per cent, a day after it signed a deal to sell liquefied natural gas to BP.

Seoul stocks lost ground as investors offloaded technology shares amid concerns about surging virus cases and a rise in US Treasury yields. The benchmark Kospi slid 35.72 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 3,097.92.

Chip giant Samsung Electronics fell 1.8 per cent, SK Hynix gave up 1 per cent and Naver tumbled 2.6 per cent. Consumer confidence in South Korea picked up steam in September, the latest survey from the Bank of Korea showed, with a composite consumer sentiment index score of 103.8 – up from 102.5 in August.

New Zealand shares declined amid lack of major catalysts. The benchmark NZX-50 index dropped 53.32 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 13,174.38.

Top stock Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gave up 2.6 per cent and Fletcher Building lost 1.4 per cent.

US stocks ended mixed overnight and Treasury yields rose as investors looked ahead to speeches from several Fed officials and kept a wary eye on the developments surrounding debt-laden China Evergrande.

In economic news, new orders for durable goods waltzed past analyst expectations, but much of the gain came from a big jump in aircraft orders.

The Dow edged up 0.2 per cent, while the S&P 500 eased 0.3 per cent and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a per cent.

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