Asian markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, following losses on Wall Street and as the world braces for a long economic recovery.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.72% rose 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.99% slipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +2.01% retreated 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.28% inched down 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.80% gained 0.2% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.88% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.62% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +1.07% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.14% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.42% was about flat.
Earlier Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged, as expected, and Japan’s machinery orders showed a strong rebound from the previous month.
“Asian stocks look content to trade in a modestly negative range today, as traders book profits after the recent strong rally, awaiting further direction from Europe and the United States,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst for Oanda, in a note.
In Tokyo, shares of Sony Financial Holdings /zigman2/quotes/206361252/delayed JP:8729 -0.04% skyrocketed after Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +0.15% said it would absorb the unit through a $3.7 billion tender bid. Sony already owns about 65% of the financial business. In Hong Kong, Lenovo shares /zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed HK:992 -2.19% surged after the PC maker reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit, but pointed to an expected rise long-term demand for computers and data centers as more people work and attend classes online.
On Tuesday, the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School predicted that the global economy would lose as much as $82 trillion over the next five years. The report said the mid-range forecast calls for $26.8 trillion, or 5.3% of five-year GDP, to be lost.
Stocks fell on Wall Street on Tuesday, after a report cast doubt on Moderna’s /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -4.90% coronavirus vaccine candidate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.36% fell 390.51 points, or 1.6%, to end at 24,206.86, near a session low, while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.45% shed 30.97 points, or 1.1%, to finish at 2,922.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP 0.00% declined 49.72 points, or 0.5%, to close at 9,185.10.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down slightly, while Brent crude, the global benchmark , ticked up.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0140% rose slightly to 107.72 yen..