Asian Shares Mixed After Weak China Data

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday after Wall Street’s main indexes ended lower overnight and China data disappointed.

China’s relaxation of its COID-related quarantine measures and cautious optimism over the outcome of a face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Biden and his Chinese counterpart helped generate buying interest.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, boosting hopes for an easing of simmering tensions over security, trade, technology and human rights.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.6 percent to 3,134.08 as disappointing industrial output and retail sales data helped ramp up hopes that the government will unveil more stimulus measures to counter the economic slowdown.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index soared 4.1 percent to 18,343.12, led by gains in the tech sector. The Taiwan Weighted Index surged 2.6 percent.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. shares spiked 7.9 percent after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway said it had bought more than $4.1 billion of stock in the world’s largest chipmaker.

Data showed earlier in the day that Chinese industrial production grew an annual 5.0 percent in October, falling short of expectations for 5.2 percent growth and down sharply from 6.3 percent in September.

Retail sales fell 0.5 percent year-on-year, missing forecasts for an increase of 1.0 percent after jumping 2.5 percent in the previous month.

Fixed asset investment was up an annual 5.8 percent, missing expectations for an increase of 5.9 percent, which would have been unchanged.

The jobless rate in China was 5.5 percent in October, matching expectations and unchanged from the September reading.

Japanese shares ended little changed as data showed the country’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in a year in the third quarter. The Nikkei 225 Index finished marginally higher at 27,990.17, while the broader Topix closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,964.22.

Staffing firm Recruit Holdings plunged 6.7 percent after posting disappointing earnings for the first half.

Lender Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group climbed 4.2 percent and Mizuho Financial Group added 1.1 percent after reporting strong second-quarter profits.

Seoul stocks eked out modest gains, with big-cap tech stocks leading the surge. The Kospi inched up 0.2 percent to 2,480.33.

Australian markets finished marginally lower after minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s November 1 meeting showed the central bank is prepared to return to large interest-rate increases if the economy requires it.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 Index ended marginally higher at 11,239.14.

The dollar held firm in Asian trading and gold climbed further towards the $1,800 level, while oil prices held steady after suffering heavy losses overnight following OPEC’s decision to cut its 2022 global oil demand forecast for a fifth time since April.

U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending firmly in the red overnight, as investors reacted to hawkish comments from Fed Governor Christopher Waller, news of planned job cuts at Amazon and the rapid downfall of the once-popular digital-assets exchange FTX.

The Dow slid 0.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.9 percent despite the Fed Vice Chair indicating the central bank should soon moderate the size of its interest-rate increases.

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