China Fears Drag Asian Stocks Lower

Asian stocks finished mostly lower on Wednesday amidst fresh concerns over economic growth in China as well as the renewed Covid curbs in the region. The fears added to the concerns of tight monetary policy emanating from the U.S.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 25.08 points or 0.8 percent to finish at 3,202.14. The day’s trading ranged between 3,184.39 and 3,232.02. The Shenzhen Component Index lost 1.3 percent to close at 11,815.79.

The manufacturing PMI in China remained below 50 in August, while the services PMI dropped to 52.6 in August from 53.8 in July.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index shed 104.05 points or 0.4 percent to end trading at 28,091.53. The day’s trading range was between 27,906.17 and 28,104.80.

Keisei Electric Railway Co. was the biggest gainer with a 3.7 percent jump. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, T&D Holdings, and Hino Motors also gained more than 2 percent.

Inpex Corp. was the biggest loser with a decline of more than 3.5 percent. Shares of Eneos Holdings, Unitika, Japan Steel Works and SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings also lost close to 3 percent in the trading session.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange added 5.36 points from the previous close to finish trading at 19,954.39. The day’s trading range was between 20,173.02 and 19,564.84.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index advanced 21.12 points or 0.9 percent to close trading at 2,472.05. The day’s trading range was between 2,426.14 and 2,473.75.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 6,986.80 after losing 11.50 points or 0.2 percent. The day’s trading was between 6,937.50 and 6,998.30.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals topped the gainers charts with a 16.2 percent rally after it reported upbeat results. ‘Buy now pay later’ provider Zip Co. surged 11.7 percent.

While biotechnology business Mesoblast and travel services company Webjet both added more than 8 percent, engineering and construction business NRW Holdings gained close to 7 percent.

Sports betting company PointsBet Holdings declined more than 11 percent. Mineral Resources shed 5.8 percent. Gambling business Tabcorp Holdings and energy business Woodside Energy both lost more than 4 percent, whereas packaged foods business Bega Cheese decreased 3.9 percent.

The NZX50 of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 47.55 points or 0.4 percent to close at 11,4601.10. Trading ranged between 11,583.00 and 11,677.41.

Tourism Holdings was the top gainer with a 4.6 percent rally. Dairy business Synlait Milk followed with a gain of 3.6 percent.

Sky Network Television, agribusiness Scales Corporation, and diagnostics business Pacific Edge also gained more than 2 percent.

Resorts and casino business Skycity Entertainment, medical instruments business Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, electric utility business Mercury NZ, and A2 Milk all declined more than 2 percent in the day’s trading.

Stocks on Wall Street closed with losses on Wednesday amidst strong job openings data that reinforced the likelihood of a more hawkish Fed. Job openings in the U.S. increased to 11.2 million in July versus 11.04 million in the previous month amidst market expectations of a drop to 10.45 million. The Nasdaq-100 lost 1.1 percent to close at 12,342.70 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1 percent to end at 31,790.87.

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