Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday after recent string of losses on worries about slowing global growth and the impact of rising interest rates on corporate profits.
The dollar index rose after the IMF’s warning of a severe global recession and amid the instability in the U.K. bond market as well as heightened concerns of Russia escalating its war in Ukraine.
Gold gained ahead of U.S. inflation data and the FOMC meeting minutes due this week, while oil recovered some ground after two days of losses.
Chinese shares posted strong gains after data showed new bank lending in China nearly doubled in September from the previous month. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.53 percent to 3,025.51.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended 0.78 percent lower at 16,701.03 after a choppy trade.
Japanese shares ended on a subdue note as a survey showed business confidence among big manufacturers fell for a second straight month to hit its lowest level in five months.
The Nikkei average ended marginally lower at 26,396.83 while the broader Topix index slipped 0.12 percent to 1,869. Tech stocks suffered heavy losses, with Tokyo Electron tumbling 4.4 percent.
“We are closely watching foreign exchange moves with a high sense of urgency, and ready to take appropriate steps on excess moves,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters as the dollar/yen rose above 146 for the first time since 1998.
Separately, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki was quoted as saying that the government will take necessary steps in the foreign exchange market if needed.
Seoul stocks eked out modest gains after the country’s central bank raised interest rates by a half percent point, as widely expected, to quell high inflation. The Kospi average inched up 0.47 percent to settle at 2,202.47.
Chip giant Samsung Electronics rose 0.7 percent and SK Hynix surged 4.2 percent on news that the U.S. government allowed them to be temporarily exempted from extensive export controls.
Among those that fell, LG Chem shed about 1 percent and LG Energy Solutions lost 2.9 percent.
Australian markets gave up early gains to end on a flat note as commodity-related stocks declined, offsetting gains among banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index finished marginally higher at 6,647.50 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended little changed with a negative bias at 6,842.30.
Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac surged 2-4 percent on expectations that they would benefit from higher interest rates.
Among those that declined, BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, Woodside Energy and Santos dropped 1-3 percent on worries about tightening COVID curbs in China.
Lake Resources gained 2 percent after signing a lithium supply deal for a project in Argentina. Queensland Pacific Metals jumped 16.7 percent after signing a binding investment and offtake agreement with General Motors.
New Zealand shares fell notably, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closing 0.76 percent lower at 10,873.23.
U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending mostly lower overnight, as the IMF warned of slowing growth and the Bank of England ruled out extending its emergency intervention in Britain’s bond market into next week.
The Dow inched up 0.1 percent while the S&P 500 shed 0.7 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.1 percent.
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