Asian Shares Mixed Before U.S. CPI Data

Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday after data showed Chinese exports hitting a record high in September despite power shortages.

A cautious undertone prevailed as traders awaited U.S. consumer price data due later in the day for clues on the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. A strong reading could raise bets of earlier than expected interest rate hikes by the U.S. central bank.

Chinese shares fluctuated before closing higher as positive exports data offset worries of spreading debt contagion. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 14.83 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,561.76. Trading in Hong Kong was suspended as a typhoon passed south of the city.

Japanese shares ended a tad lower after data showed core machinery orders in the country unexpectedly fell in August, underlining persistent pressure on businesses and the broader economy.

The Nikkei 225 Index dipped 90.33 points, or 0.3 percent, to 28,140.28, while the broader Topix closed 0.5 percent lower at 1,973.83.

J. Front Retailing shares soared 8.6 percent as the department store operator returned to a net profit in the quarter to August after two quarters of losses. Similarly, film maker Toho rallied 3.9 percent after reporting a jump in profits.

Shipping firms, steelmakers and semi-conductor companies all ended sharply lower after the IMF warned that threats to the global economic recovery are growing. Nippon Paint plunged 7.1 percent after cutting its earnings guidance.

Australian markets fell for a third consecutive session as a plunge in Dalian prices pulled down miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 8.20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,272.50, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended marginally lower at 7,571.90.

BHP dropped 1 percent, Fortescue Metals Group slumped 5.3 percent and Rio Tinto lost 3.2 percent. Second-tier lender Bank of Queensland gave up 4.3 percent after warning of a decline in margins in the coming year.

Gambling giant Star Entertainment jumped 6.5 percent on bargain hunting after suffering heavy losses in the previous two sessions.

Seoul stocks rose sharply as investors sought to buy oversold tech and auto stocks after a sharp plunge the previous session. The benchmark Kospi surged up 28.03 points, or 1 percent, to close at 2,944.41. Internet portal operator Naver climbed 2.7 percent and top automaker Hyundai Motor added 3.2 percent.

New Zealand shares ended slightly higher to snap a six-session losing streak, as A2 Milk surged on optimism that disruption to key sales channel to channel is behind it.

Shares of the specialty milk marketer soared 12.4 percent, while the benchmark NX-50 Index closed up 28.92 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,025.18.

U.S. stocks ended lower for the third consecutive session overnight as investors waited to see how companies are coping with price increases.

A downward revision in the global growth forecast by the IMF and expectations that the Fed could begin scaling back asset purchases as early as next month also weighed on markets.

The Dow dipped 0.3 percent, the tech-heavy Composite slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent.

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