Asian stocks markets were mixed in early trading Thursday after muted moves in the U.S. and Europe overnight. The Nikkei started lower, hampered by a further uptick for the yen, but Chinese stocks advanced despite rising trade tensions.
As Japanese stocks lagged amid fresh U.S.-China trade concerns and a stronger yen, the dollar USDJPY, -0.14% fell to session lows of ¥110.78 versus ¥110.95 in late New York trading. The Nikkei NIK, -0.11% was off 0.3%, with the oil/coal-products sector leading the way lower, skidding 2.3% following the overnight slump in oil prices. Japan Petroleum 1662, -10.01% tumbled 8.5%. Japanese skincare giant Shiseido 4911, +7.66% rebounded strongly after selling off sharply Wednesday following its earnings report, in which it raised ita yearly guidance. A day after finishing down 4.4%, the stock was up 6.5% Thursday. Shiseido shares have soared 48% this year.
After starting with modest declines, Chinese stocks bounced back after Wednesday’s sizable pullback. Perhaps helping sentiment, inflation numbers came in higher than expected last month, a possible sign that demand is holding up. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.78% was up 0.8% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.67% jumped 1.6%. Consumer and cyclical stocks were the top performers, but oil names were sliding.
Hong Kong stocks also made up early losses. The Hang Seng HSI, +0.90% was up 0.3%, on pace for its fourth straight gain. Oil stocks fell though, with PetroChina 0857, -0.49% and CNOOC 0883, -0.92% down more than 1%. Property stocks were also under pressure after major lending local banks announced plans to finally raise interest rates — perhaps signalling the end to a decade of low borrowing costs. Hang Lung Properties 0101, -0.98% and New World Development 0017, +0.00% were down more 1%.
South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.19% slipped 0.1%, with Hyundai 005380, -1.57% down 1%. Stocks were down in Taiwan Y9999, -0.37% , but up in Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.26% . Singapore’s market was closed for a holiday.
Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.63% was up despite energy losses. Santos STO, -0.45% , Oil Search OSH, +0.11% and Woodside Petroleum WPL, -0.19% were all down less than 1%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 NZ50GR, +0.81% rebounded 0.8% following underperformance the past few days as Ryman Healthcare, RYM, +1.75% a retirement-village operator, jumped 4% to fresh record highs.
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