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Sept. 1, 2020, 11:53 p.m. EDT

Asia-Pacific markets mixed as Australia falls into first recession in three decades

Stocks rise in Sydney, but dip in Tokyo and Hong Kong

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By Marketwatch


Getty Images/iStock Photos
Stocks rose Wednesday in Sydney.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, after Wall Street hit more records and Australia confirmed it was in its first recession in 29 years.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.18%   advanced 0.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.54%   slid 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -1.04%   fell 0.4% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -1.90%   advanced 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.24%   slipped 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.14%  , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.36%   and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.40%   fell. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.11%  gained 1.6%.

“A positive tone had been assumed by Asia markets, finding inspiration from Wall Street with the gains notched overnight,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a commentary. “Although the U.S. economy is nowhere near the state before the COVID-19 hit yet, these evidences of continued recovery nevertheless works in the favor of keeping the cautious optimism and the equity rally going.”

Data showed Australia’s economy shrank 7% in the second quarter, after slipping 0.3% in the previous quarter, marking its first back-to-back periods of contraction — the widely recognized signifier of recession — since 1991. The massive downturn, caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns, has been softened by record fiscal stimulus to keep businesses open and workers paid.

In other economic data, South Korea’s inflation hit a five-month high, gaining 0.7% in August, its fastest growth since March and outpacing analysts’ expectations.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.34%   and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.37%   closed at new records as encouraging economic data and dovish statements from the Fed fueled buying; tech stocks especially benefited. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.10%   also rose slightly.

Benchmark U.S. crude   added 36 cents to $43.12 a barrel. It rose 15 cents to $42.76 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude  , the international standard, gained 38 cents to $45.96 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0525%   inched up to 106.07 Japanese yen from 105.97 yen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
23,516.59
+42.32 +0.18%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 23, 2020 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
24,918.78
+132.65 +0.54%
Volume: 2.37M
Oct. 23, 2020 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,278.00
-34.50 -1.04%
Volume: 17.42B
Oct. 23, 2020 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed
CN : Shenhzen Stock Exchange
2,200.56
-42.68 -1.90%
Volume: 30.24B
Oct. 23, 2020 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,360.81
+5.76 +0.24%
Volume: 890,384
Oct. 23, 2020 3:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed
TW : Taiwan Stock Exchange
12,898.82
-18.21 -0.14%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 23, 2020 1:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
2,537.39
+8.98 +0.36%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 23, 2020 5:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed
ID : Indonesia Stock Exchange
5,112.19
+20.37 +0.40%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 23, 2020 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,167.00
-6.80 -0.11%
Volume: 562,629
Oct. 23, 2020 5:25p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,465.39
+11.90 +0.34%
Volume: 2.16B
Oct. 23, 2020 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
11,548.28
+42.28 +0.37%
Volume: 2.88M
Oct. 23, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
28,335.57
-28.09 -0.10%
Volume: 350.10M
Oct. 23, 2020 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
104.7600
+0.0550 +0.0525%
Volume: 0.0000
Oct. 23, 2020 4:59p
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