Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Lower; China Bucks Weak Trend

Asian stocks moved mostly lower on Tuesday, although Chinese stocks rose notably after reports that China and the U.S. have resumed high levels talks to reduce tensions ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 24.36 points or 0.9 percent to 2,654.88, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 159.69 points or 0.6 percent to 25,792.87.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the country needs reforms and adjustments in policies to lift growth. “Despite the downward pressure, we will not resort to massive stimulus,” Li said

Japanese shares tumbled, dragged down by technology stocks after Apple supplier Lumentum slashed its outlook for the current quarter.

The Nikkei 225 Index plunged 459.36 points or 2.2 percent to 21,810.52, while the broader Topix Index plunged 2 percent to 1,638.45.

Advantest lost 3.2 percent, Screen Holdings shed 5.6 percent, TDK Corp retreated 6.3 percent and Japan Display plummeted 9.5 percent. Exporters Canon, Panasonic, Honda Motor, Toyota and Sony fell 1-3 percent.

On the other hand, Toshiba Corp jumped 4.1 percent after announcing it would continue its share buyback program until next November. SoftBank advanced 1.9 percent on fundraising reports.

Australian stocks fell sharply, with selling seen across the board. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled 107.10 points or 1.8 percent to finish at 5,834.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 1.7 percent at 5,922.60.

Lender Westpac lost 5.4 percent on going ex-dividend, and the other three big banks fell between 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent. Insurer Suncorp Group dropped 2 percent after it postponed the targeted close of the A$725 million sale of its Australian life insurance business to Japan’s Dai-ichi Life.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto declined 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively after an overnight drop in base metal and iron ore prices. In the healthcare sector, CSL, Resmed and Cochlear gave up 3-4 percent.

Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy and Oil Search fell 2-3 percent after crude oil prices fell for the eleventh straight session overnight, giving up earlier gains after Trump tweeted against production cuts.

Fertilizer maker Incitec Pivot plummeted 5.2 percent after its full-year profit fell almost 35 percent due to a large first-half impairment against its explosives services business.

Meanwhile, agribusiness Ruralco Holdings soared 7.2 percent after reporting a 12 percent increase in full-year profits.

South Korean stocks fell modestly as foreign investors offloaded large-cap shares. The benchmark Kospi dropped 9.21 points or 0.4 percent to close at 2,071.23.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 1.6 percent to snap a four-day winning streak, while LG Electronics shed 1.4 percent and SK Hynix declined 3.5 percent.

New Zealand shares joined a global sell-off, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ending down 95.33 points or 1.1 percent at 8,861.52. Ryman Healthcare slumped 4.4 percent and A2 Milk lost 2.3 percent.

U.S. stocks fell for a third day on Monday, as Apple suppliers cut their forecasts and Goldman Sachs shares hit a two-year low on concerns over a scandal surrounding the plundering of a Malaysian government investment fund.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 2.3 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.8 percent and the S&P 500 plummeted 2 percent.

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