Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trading
Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday despite investor optimism around the passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in the United States.
Chinese shares ended slightly higher after falling earlier in the day on concerns around Evergrande’s debt mountain and its impact on China’s financial system.
Reports later in the day suggested that the crisis-hit property developer has raised around $145 million (£107m) just before a deadline for a fresh debt interest payment.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 8.37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,507, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 49.36 points, or 0.2 percent, at 24,813.13.
Japanese shares ended lower for the third straight session, with a stronger yen and some disappointing earnings updates denting sentiment. The Nikkei 225 Index slid 221.59 points, or 0.8 percent, to 29,285.46, while the broader Topix closed 0.8 percent lower at 2,018.77.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries plunged 9.2 percent and Fujikura slumped 6.6 percent on disappointing financial results. Toshiba gave up 2.6 percent after reports it plans to split into three companies as early as 2023.
Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing tumbled 3.2 percent. Startup investor SoftBank Group jumped 10.5 percent on share buyback news.
Australian markets ended a choppy session lower as gains in the mining sector were offset by losses among banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index ended the session down 18 points, or 0.2 percent, at 7,434.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 11.60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,756.30.
National Australia Bank shares declined 0.8 percent after the lender flagged continuing pressure on lending margins. The other three big banks fell between 1.2 percent and 1.6 percent.
Energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum and Santos dropped over 1 percent each, while miners BHP and Fortescue Metals Group climbed 1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively on strong copper prices. Gold miner Newcrest Mining declined 1.6 percent after announcing a deal to acquire Pretium Resources.
Seoul stocks ended marginally higher after a choppy session. The Kospi inched up 2.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 2,962.46 amid institutional buying.
Chipmaker SK Hynix added 1.4 percent and biopharmaceutical company Celltrion surged 4.3 percent, while automaker Hyundai Motor gave up 0.9 percent.
New Zealand shares recovered from an early slide to end modestly higher for the day. The benchmark NZX-50 Index rose 49.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to settle at 13,090.58. Heavyweight Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rallied 2.2 percent, while power generator and retailer Meridian Energy dropped 1.4 percent.
U.S. stocks ended slightly higher overnight after the passage of an infrastructure spending bill.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both edged up around 0.1 percent to extend their run of record highs to the eighth straight session, while the Dow added 0.3 percent to notch its second consecutive record closing high.
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