Hong Kong: Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as Japanese and Hong Kong shares closed flat and Chinese stocks dropped amid sluggish sentiments after an overnight tumble on Wall Street.
Markets in India, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore all veered lower; South Korea and Taiwan gained.
Uncertainty in the US spilled over to weigh on Japan’s market, and investors held back from big purchases although financial stocks were viewed as attractively priced. Gains in the sector still buoyed the market against losses elsewhere, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index edging up 0.1% to 13,067.21.
Japan’s banking giant Mizuho Financial Group Inc. gained 2.7%. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. jumped 3.5%.
Japan’s top auto maker, Toyota Motor Corp., rose 1%; Honda Motor Co. added 0.8%.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 2% on Wednesday, pressured by fresh worries about the soundness of the US financial sector.
In China, traders used Wall Street’s retreat as a reason to take profits following a three-day rise. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.54% to 2,875.45. The index had gained 10% through Wednesday since hitting a 16-month low on 1 July.
Big decliners included oil companies and airlines after a report that US oil supplies fell more than expected last week rattled petroleum markets.
Hong Kong’s blue-chip Hang Seng Index ended 0.7% higher at 21,821.78, after fluctuating through the day.
Chinese banks rose on hopes of strong earnings and export-related shares slipped on analyst downgrades.