By Daniel Inman
Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday, with Bank of Chongqing struggling in its debut in Hong Kong, while a weaker yen supported shares in Tokyo.
Wall Street provided the region with a negative lead overnight as stocks ended mostly lower, after a stronger-than-expected reading on the U.S. services industry raised fears that the Federal Reserve could reduce its monthly bond-buying program sooner than expected.
The moves on Wednesday in Asia were moderate for many markets, with stocks sticking close to the break-even mark as investors waited for major events later in the week.
South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.57% was flat, the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.04% fell 0.8% in mainland China, and Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.2%.
On Friday, the U.S. will release its monthly labor report — a keenly watched indicator related to the Fed’s monetary policy. Over the weekend, the Chinese Communist Party will start its Third Plenum meetings, expected to provide clues on the direction of economic policy in the next decade.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.23% was one market that managed to make a substantial move, with the index rising 0.8% as the yen weakened during the session. The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0231% was at ¥98.61 compared with ¥98.49 late Tuesday in New York.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.47% slipped 0.1%.
Bank of Chongqing /zigman2/quotes/206688042/delayed HK:1963 -0.19% fell 0.3% after the first Chinese bank to go public in three years started trading in Hong Kong. The fifth-largest bank by assets in the city of Chongqing raised $546 million in an offering that came at a time that fears of bad loans and tighter regulations weigh on sentiment toward the sector.
In Sydney, where the S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.74% ended flat, Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA +0.08% /zigman2/quotes/207018701/delayed CBAUF -0.71% gained 1.2% after it reported a higher first-quarter profit. The country’s largest bank by market value announced net profit of 2.1 billion Australian dollars, or $2 billion, in the three months through Sept. 30, citing higher revenue and cost controls.
Reuters Enlarge Image
Some miners were also able to buck the negative trend in Sydney, helped by an increase in spot iron-ore increases. Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -3.28% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +2.12% rose 1.4% and Fortescue Metals Group /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -0.67% /zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed FSUMF -0.87% added 4%.
Mitsubishi Motors /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 +2.89% /zigman2/quotes/200876874/delayed MMTOF -0.70% rose 0.6% on news that it had agreed on an industrial partnership with Renault and Nissan Motor /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +2.35% /zigman2/quotes/207656007/delayed NSANY +2.25% to share factories and technology, as well as increase sales in North America and emerging markets through the joint development of electric vehicles.
Nissan was up 2.8%, recovering from a 10% dive on Tuesday, after it cut its full-year earnings forecast.
In Taiwan, Acer /zigman2/quotes/205835580/delayed TW:2353 -0.75% fell 6.9% after the world’s fourth-largest PC maker by shipments posted a third-quarter net loss that was worse than expected, as inventories piled up and the value of its acquisitions fell.