By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian markets were mixed Tuesday, as Chinese stocks largely rose and Japanese stocks overcame early session weakness.
Japan‘s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.03% closed less than 0.1% higher, continuing Monday’s yen-fueled stock underperformance as the dollar’s losing streak hit five days.
The latest drop came after U.S. President Donald Trump raised some concerns about the Fed’s rate-hike cycle. The dollar hit eight-week lows against the yen in Asian trading, falling to ¥109.84 versus ¥110.07 in late New York action and ¥110.60 when Tokyo stock trading ended Monday before improving to ¥110.26 later Tuesday. The U.S. dollar had fallen in 10 of the past 15 sessions versus the yen through Tuesday.
However, the Nikkei has been holding up rather well with just a 1.5% decline in August as of Tuesday’s close. Insurance and shipping shares lagged Tuesday, as did big names such as Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +1.20% , SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +1.74% and Fujitsu /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 -1.00% .
Chinese stocks traded mostly higher, with big caps outperforming most other indexes in the region. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.21% was up 1.3%, after rebounding 1.1% Monday, while the small-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.0056% was up 1.3%. Financials again led the gains while energy lagged.
Hong Kong stocks gave up early gains, as Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +2.61% took a breather following its days-long rebound, while insurers took the lead. The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.74% was up 0.4%. AIA /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 +0.68% jumped a further 1.7% ahead of its first-half report, while Ping An /zigman2/quotes/210315058/delayed HK:2318 +0.32% and China Life /zigman2/quotes/202359856/delayed HK:2628 -0.67% were up some 1%. Meanwhile, smartphone-component makers AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +0.57% shot more than 8.5% higher and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -0.61% rebounded 8.8% following their recent swoons. CSPC Pharma /zigman2/quotes/200847219/delayed HK:1093 +5.91% gained 9.8% to extend its post-earnings gain.
Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.76% was up 0.9% after barely rising Monday, as Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.29% and SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +2.29% posted solid gains, while Hyundai Motor /zigman2/quotes/206684590/delayed KR:005380 +7.67% tumbled 1.5%.
Australian stocks have been an Asia-Pacific outperformer the past few months, with the country’s benchmark hitting 10½-year highs at a time others in the region are down for 2018. But the ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.38% was the noted laggard Tuesday with a 0.9% drop on broad declines. Materials led the way, coming after a muted earnings report from mining heavyweight BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +4.94% . It fell 1.8% Tuesday. In New Zealand, the NZX 50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.63% rose 0.1% after setting a record closing high the previous day.