Chen Shiyin and Patrick Rial/Bloomberg
Asian stocks closed mixed and tending lower on 12 April following falls on Wall Street and fears the United States could still raise interest rates to combat inflation.
The latest economic indicators for Asia’s largest export market were contained in the minutes from the latest meeting of the US Federal Reserve indicating further rate rises had not been ruled out.
This provided an excuse for further profit-taking in the Asia Pacific region where many markets have enjoyed a run-up to historical levels, and on the day Shanghai, Sydney and Seoul still finished at their best ever levels.
Wellington was also higher, up 0.50%, while Jakarta, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur closed flat. Elsewhere losses were modest.
Tokyo was down 0.73% after tracking Wall Street, Hong Kong eased 0.34% and Singapore dropped 1.42% after a succession of record closes.The Nikkei-225 index closed down 129.65 points to 17,540.42. Volume advanced to 1.88 billion shares from 1.81 billion on 11April.
Bangkok was down 0.38% ahead of national holidays while Manila was the standout with a 2.15% slump but dealers noted that such falls were expected in light of recent sharp gains.
In Shanghai share prices closed at a fresh record high, adding 1.02 percent on strong follow-through buying with machinery and power companies in demand.
Dealers said investor sentiment was bolstered by the strengthening currency, the yuan, and continued expectations for strong corporate earnings as markets registered their ninth straight day of gains.
But with China’s two bourses at new highs analysts warned the run-up could trigger a correction similar to the one that rocked markets in late February when Chinese shares tumbled 9.0 percent in one day.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 35.81 points at 3,531.03 on turnover of 148.37 billion yuan (19.19 billion US dollars).