Asian Shares Mixed Amid Economic Recovery Concerns

Business

Asian stocks ended Friday’s session on a mixed note despite new record closes on Wall Street overnight. Global supply chain disruptions, concerns over a lack of electricity supplies in China and weak earnings updates from Amazon and Apple kept underlying sentiment cautious as the month draws to a close.

Chinese shares advanced, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing up 28.92 points, or 0.8 percent, at 3,547.34, led by consumer staples, information technology and healthcare firms. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 178.49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,377.24.

Japanese shares reversed early losses to end modestly higher ahead of the country’s general election on Sunday. A cautious undertone prevailed after data showed Japanese industrial output fell for the third straight month in September.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended up 72.60 points, or 0.3 percent, at 28,892.69 on optimism around the domestic corporate outlook. The broader Topix finished marginally higher at 2,001.18.

Automotive components manufacturer Denso Corp advanced 1.7 percent and electronic application equipment maker Keyence soared 5 percent after reporting robust earnings.

Sony added 1.9 percent after reporting a surprise 1 percent increase in operating profit for its second quarter. Panasonic plummeted 6.2 percent despite raising its profit forecast for the year to March 31.

Tech heavyweight Advantest declined 2.8 percent after its annual forecast missed consensus.

Australian markets fell sharply as rising inflation remained a key concern and investors priced in a rate hike as soon as early next year.

In economic news, Australian retail sales rebounded in September from three months of steep declines, data showed earlier in the day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled 106.70 points, or 1.4 percent, to finish at 7,323.70, marking its worst day and week since October 1. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 100.60 points, or 1.3 percent, at 7,639.10.

Lender Westpac gave up 2.1 percent ahead of its full-year results due on Monday, while the other three big banks lost between 1.6 percent and 2.5 percent.

Origin Energy, Oil Search, Santos and Woodside Petroleum dropped 1-2 percent as oil prices remained on track for their first weekly drop since August amid concerns about erratic demand growth. Whitehaven Coal shares slumped 3 percent.

Mining giant BHP shed 1.2 percent and Rio Tinto declined 2.7 percent on weaker iron ore prices.

Seoul stocks fell for a third straight session as weaker than expected earnings by major U.S. tech firms offset data showing that South Korea’s industrial output and retail sales rebounded in September. The Kospi ended down 38.87 points, or 1.3 percent, at 2,970.68, with tech shares leading market declines.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.3 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix tumbled 3.3 percent.

New Zealand shares rose sharply, with the benchmark NZX 50 index closing up 128.83 points, or 1 percent, at 13,099.82 in a broad rally as investors rebalanced portfolios on the last trading day of the month. Pushpay Holdings soared 3.8 percent, followed by A2 Milk, which jumped 3.5 percent.

U.S. stocks rose overnight as a string of solid earnings reports and encouraging jobless claims figures outweighed data showing a dramatic slowdown in the pace of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.4 percent and the S&P 500 added 1 percent to reach new record closing highs, while the Dow gained 0.7 percent.

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