China Fears Drag Asian Stocks

Asian stocks finished mixed on Friday, as fresh concerns over economic growth in China eclipsed positive sentiment triggered by earnings news as well as potential pause or slowdown by the Fed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined more than 2 percent as tech stocks and real estate stocks were under pressure.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 29.34 points or 0.9 percent to finish at 3,253.24. The day’s trading ranged between 3,246.37 and 3,294.80. The Shenzhen Component Index lost 1.3 percent to close at 12,269.27.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index shed 13.84 points or 0.1 percent to end trading at 27,801.64. The day’s trading range was between 27,725.24 and 28,001.80.

Advantest Corp. was the biggest gainer with a 4.11 percent rally. Fuji Electric, Z Holdings Corp., Omron Corp. and Cyber Agent Inc. also gained more than 3 percent.

NEC Corp. was the biggest loser with a decline of more than 7 percent. Shares of Hino Motors dropped 6.53 percent. Mitsubishi Motors and Denso Corp. both lost more than 5 percent in the trading session.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange plunged 466.17 points or 2.3 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 20,156.51. The day’s trading range was between 20,647.45 and 20,050.05.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index added 16.23 points or 0.7 percent to close trading at 2,451.50. The day’s trading range was between 2,442.01 and 2,463.05.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 6,945.20 after gaining 55.50 points or 0.8 percent. The day’s trading was between 6,889.70 and 6,973.60.

Mining business St Barbara topped the gainers charts with a 9.8 percent rally. Healthcare equipment business Polynovo and information technology business EML Payments both gained more than 8 percent.

Buy now pay later provider Zip dropped more than 25 percent apparently on profit booking after recent gains. Sports betting company PointsBet Holdings declined more than 10 percent despite strong quarterly results.

The NZX 50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange added 164.46 points or 1.5 percent to close at 11,492.65. Trading ranged between 11,328.19 and 11,492.65.

Software business Vista Group International was the top gainer with a 6.4 percent rally. Air courier business Freightways, rubber and polymer business Skellerup Holdings, healthcare provider Arvida Group and Stride Property, a REIT, all gained more than 4 percent.

Restaurant Brands NZ declined 2.9 percent in the session followed by seafood company Sanford, which lost a little over 1 percent.

Wall Street closed with decent gains on Thursday amidst strong earnings updates and expectations of a softening in the Fed’s interest rate hikes, thus shrugging off data that showed another GDP contraction. Nasdaq-100 rallied 0.9 percent to close at 12,717.87 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 percent to end at 32,529.63.

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