Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trading

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as scant details about the partial U.S.-China trade deal announced last week as well as renewed Brexit uncertainty dented sentiment. In addition, investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of earnings results from the big U.S. banks this week.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 16.84 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,991.05 after the release of inflation data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished marginally lower at 26,503.93.

Chinese consumer price inflation accelerated to the highest since 2013 on food prices, while factory gate prices eased further in September as trade disputes with the U.S. and subdued demand weighed on the manufacturing sector, separate reports showed today.

Consumer price inflation rose more than expected to 3 percent in September from 2.8 percent in August. The expected rate was 2.9 percent.

Producer prices declined for the third straight month in September. Prices decreased 1.2 percent annually after falling 0.8 percent in August.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares rose notably as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 408.34 points, or 1.9 percent, to 22,207.21, as local markets played catch-up with the rally in other Asian markets the previous day. The broader Topix closed 1.6 percent higher at 1,620.20.

Exporters Sony, Canon and Panasonic rose 1-2 percent. In the tech sector, Advantest rallied 2 percent and Tokyo Electron added 1.4 percent. Market heavyweight SoftBank advanced 2.5 percent and Fast Retailing soared 3.5 percent.

Australian shares edged up slightly, even as miners succumbed to selling pressure after the release of weak trade data from top consumer China. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 9.40 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,652, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 5.40 points at 6,763.30.

The big four banks rose between 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent as the country’s prudential regulator outlined proposals to increase the amount of equity banks need to support investments in large subsidiaries.

On the other hand, mining heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto fell over 1 percent, while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group lost 3.5 percent.

Gold producer Newcrest Mining shed 0.7 percent after its board approved a A$685-million investment for Stage 1 of the Cadia expansion project, in New South Wales. Woodside Petroleum and Santos fell 1-2 percent after crude oil prices lost almost 2 percent overnight.

In economic news, members of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy board said that lower interest rates would be required for an extended period in order to achieve employment and inflation goals, minutes from the central bank’s October 1 meeting revealed.

Seoul stocks edged higher, led by technology stocks. The benchmark Kospi rose 0.77 point to 2,068.17 ahead of the Bank of Korea’s policy meeting slated for Wednesday.

New Zealand shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index ending up 18.74 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,045.34, extending gains for the third straight session. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp. rallied 2.6 percent a day after raising its profit outlook.

U.S. stocks struggled for direction before ending marginally lower overnight after China indicated further talks were needed to finalize the first phase of the trade deal and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods will go into effect on December 15 if a deal hasn’t been reached by then.

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