By Daniel Inman
Shanghai gave up most of its gains from the previous session, leading declines Tuesday in Asia, while the Indonesian rupiah hit a more-than-four-year low against the dollar.
Stocks continued to come down from the initial excitement following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision last week to leave bond buying unchanged. That gave markets in Asia a boost on Thursday, though stocks have weakened since then.
The region’s worst performer was China, where the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.83% fell 1.2%, retreating from Monday’s 1.3% gain on signs of improvement in manufacturing activity.
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“The global growth story is real, but probably not enough to give equities an extra leg up right now,” said Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief market strategist at broker IG. “It would be healthy to have a bit of a pullback.”
Many markets took their lead from the U.S., where Wall Street ended Monday lower as investors continued trying to determine the Fed’s monetary-policy plans. One central bank official said Monday that the economy isn’t strong enough for a pullback of easy-money policies.
In the currency market, the rupiah /zigman2/quotes/210562008/realtime/sampled USDIDR -0.0355% dropped to 11,525 against the dollar — a level not seen since April 2009 — as the greenback rebounded against Southeast Asian currencies this week.
The yen strengthened to 98.72 yen to the dollar early in Asia compared with ¥98.84 late on Monday in New York and ¥99.33 late on Friday.
Stocks in Tokyo resumed trading after a public holiday on Monday with the Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.39% down 0.8% as a stronger yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.2893% weighed on the market.
Exporters were affected by the firmer currency — especially car companies. Toyota Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +0.94% /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -1.94% dropped 0.6%, and Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 +1.69% /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC -3.01% was 1.2% lower.
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Miners led Australia’s S&P ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.19% 0.6% lower. Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +0.71% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -5.15% dropped 1.1%, and BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.92% /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -4.43% slid 0.8%.
Southeast Asia also fell, with the Philippines PSE Composite /zigman2/quotes/210597949/delayed PH:PSEI -0.07% 0.5% lower, and Indonesia’s JSX /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -1.06% down 0.8%, and Singapore’s Strait Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.18% 0.1% lower.
A number of Asian companies supplying U.S. technology giant Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -1.37% moved higher after the company reported a “record-breaking” opening weekend for its newest iPhones. Apple’s stock finished 5% higher on Monday, and on Tuesday Murata Manufacturing Co. /zigman2/quotes/204266745/delayed JP:6981 +2.48% /zigman2/quotes/209506717/composite MRAAF -2.17% gained 1.3% in Tokyo, LG Display /zigman2/quotes/204226570/delayed KR:034220 +1.69% /zigman2/quotes/204466928/composite LPL -1.86% rose 1.7% in Seoul, and Hon Hai Precision Industry /zigman2/quotes/207256514/delayed TW:2317 +0.88% /zigman2/quotes/205520950/composite HNHPF -2.54% rose 0.5% in Taiwan.