By Dow Jones Newswires
Asian stock markets mostly fell early but improved from the worst levels of the day, including a flip to positive territory in Hong Kong, as the region’s trading tracked the drubbing Tuesday for U.S. stocks and oil futures. Both equities and oil markets indicated a Wednesday rebound was in order.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.67% was down 0.4%, moving close to its lowest point in a month as energy and electronics stocks slid. Oil explorer Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -2.67% was down 3.2% while Sumitomo /zigman2/quotes/209745829/delayed JP:8053 -2.03% , which has various natural-resource investments around the world, lost 3.2%. Meanwhile, Olympus /zigman2/quotes/200860615/delayed JP:7733 -2.87% dropped 8.7% and Mitsubishi Electric /zigman2/quotes/207150000/delayed JP:6503 -4.23% was off 2.7%. Nissan shares /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 -1.42% reversed a bit of yesterday’s slide following the arrest of CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Hong Kong stocks extended losses initially though the Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.42% closed up 0.5% after dropping more than 1% early on. While tech stocks lagged overall, Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -3.31% gained 2.8% and AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 -6.59% rose 1.9%. Oil company Cnooc /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -4.47% fell 2.5%.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -3.71% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -4.93% were both up slightly after early weakness. Energy stocks lagged after the latest plunge in oil prices Tuesday.
Sagging energy stocks also weighed down Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -3.25% , with Woodside Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL -3.46% down 2% and Santos /zigman2/quotes/207349564/delayed AU:STO -2.57% off 4.3%. New Zealand’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -1.54% was down slightly.
South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -3.30% declined 0.3%, as Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -3.04% dipped. Singapore’s Strai Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -3.23% rose 0.4% while Taiwan’s Taiex slipped 0.03% as Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.06% suppliers Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 -0.17% and Largan Precision /zigman2/quotes/210444196/delayed TW:3008 -3.28% fell.