Asia markets mixed, Chinese stocks rally on intervention
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is still headed for its worst three-week slide since January 2016 as shares fell in Tokyo, Mumbai and Taiwan
Sydney: Asian stocks rounded out the week in mixed fashion as some markets recovered in afternoon trading, while others remained in the red. China’s equities rose after verbal intervention by the nation’s top financial regulators, who assured they’ll keep financial risks under control. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is still headed for its worst three-week slide since January 2016 as shares fell in Tokyo, Mumbai and Taiwan. U.S. equity futures rose, following the more than 1 percent fall in the S&P 500 Index and 2 percent slide in the Nasdaq 100. China’s Shanghai Composite rebounded after hitting a four-year low and stocks in Hong Kong climbed after early losses. The yuan was steady and the dollar held overnight gains.
China’s recent rout spurred the most explicit comments by policy makers to date, with the central bank and other regulators moving to assure that liquidity risks are being addressed. Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said China will allow insurance companies to introduce products designed to ease liquidity pressures caused by share pledging of listed companies. The comments came as data showed China’s economy expanded at 6.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, just shy of the 6.6 percent average forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
Meantime, earnings misses from several U.S. industrial firms and a Bank of America downgrade of the housing sector added to worries that higher interest rates and the trade war are hitting profits. Weak results from Germany’s SAP and Taiwan Semiconductor dragged American tech indexes lower Thursday. Also hurting the appetite for risk was Italy’s debt crisis. The spread between Italian and German bond yields hit the highest level since 2013 as European Union officials questioned the country’s budget plan.
Elsewhere, oil traded near the lowest level in almost a month after expanding American stockpiles overshadowed tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of a prominent kingdom critic.
Japan’s Topix Index fell 0.7 percent as of 2:45 p.m. in Tokyo. The Shanghai Composite climbed 1.8 percent after sliding as much as 1.5 percent at the open. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent. S&P 500 futures added 0.4 percent after the underlying gauge fell 1.4 percent Thursday.
The Japanese yen fell 0.2 percent to 112.40 per dollar after climbing 0.4 percent. The offshore yuan rose 0.1 percent to 6.9336 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed Friday, trading near the strongest since mid-2017 after gains earlier in the week. The euro traded at $1.1464, up 0.1 percent.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 3.18 percent after approaching fresh seven-year highs earlier this week. Australian 10-year bond yields fell about five basis points to 2.68 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4 percent to $68.91 a barrel. Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,227.11 an ounce.