Asian stocks mixed after lacklustre day on Wall Street

PTI Tokyo | Updated on September 08, 2021

Japan's Nikkei 225 index is trading up 0.5 per cent, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 0.7 per cent.

Stocks were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after Wall Street closed mostly lower as traders returned from the Labour Day holiday.

Shares rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but fell in Seoul and Sydney.

Japan's growth for April-June was revised up to an annual pace of 1.9 per cent from a preliminary estimate of 1.3 per cent.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is due to elect a new prime minister to succeed Yoshihide Suga, adding to uncertainty over future policy, more stimulus for the economy is expected in the coming weeks, analysts say.

Strong trade data from China on Tuesday failed to counter the dampening impact of a weak US jobs report last week.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5 per cent to 30,061.71, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 0.7 per cent to 26,533.40. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.3 per cent to 3,688.27. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.3 per cent to 3,178.63. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.3 per cent to 7,506.30, and benchmarks declined in Taiwan and Singapore.

US stocks

In New York, gains for some Big Tech companies nudged the Nasdaq composite barely higher to another record, while the benchmark S&P 500 slipped 0.3 per cent, breaking two weeks of gains. The Dow industrials lost 0.8 per cent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 1.37 per cent, while oil prices rose after falling overnight.

The pullback in stocks came as traders returned from the Labour Day holiday weekend to a relatively light week of economic data. The last big economic snapshot, the August jobs report, came in weaker than expected last Friday, but stocks only slipped modestly on the news.

“We're still kind of digesting Friday's weak job number and the potential impact that might have with the economy,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial.

The S&P 500 fell 15.40 points to 4,520.03. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 269.09 points to 35,100, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 per cent to 15,374.33, it's fourth consecutive record high.

Small company stocks declined. The Russell 2000 index lost 0.7 per cent to 2,275.61.

A rise in bond yields helped out bank stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.37 per cent from 1.32 per cent on Friday. Bank of America rose 0.7 per cent.

Industrial sector stocks were among the S&P 500's biggest decliners. Deere & Co slid 4.5 per cent and 3M lost 8.8 per cent.

Volatility is expected to pick up in the coming days and weeks, after stocks churned higher throughout the summer, helped by stronger-than-expected earnings from big companies and guidance from the Federal Reserve that the central bank plans to keep interest rates low.

Investors have a few economic reports on tap for the week.

On Wednesday, the Labour Department will report job openings for July. The jobs market is still struggling to recover from the pandemic and employers have been finding it difficult to fill openings amid lingering health fears and the resurgent virus could make it even more difficult.

On Friday, investors will get another update on inflation when the Labour Department reports on inflation at the wholesale level before costs are passed on to consumers.


In other trading, benchmark US crude oil gained 12 cents to $68.47 per barrel. It lost 94 cents to $68.35 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard for pricing oil, edged 1 cent higher to $71.70 per barrel.

The dollar was almost unchanged at 110.28 Japanese yen. The euro rose to $1.1846 from $1.1841.

Published on September 08, 2021

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