By Dow Jones Newswires
After a roller-coaster October, Asian stock markets largely started November with widespread gains with only Japan as the notable exception.
The Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.00% closed down nearly 1.1% amid caution over U.S. trade policies and the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. The telecom sector fell some 6%, by far the worst among 33 Topix sectors, after NTT DoCoMo said it would cut mobile service charges. Shares in NTT DoCoMo were down 14% while fellow telecom KDDI /zigman2/quotes/204923990/delayed JP:9433 +0.67% dropped 16% and SoftBank Group /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -0.71% sank 8.1%. Panasonic /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +1.25% was also sharply down.
Meanwhile, Chinese stocks surged Thursday, with Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.09% jumping 1.8%. Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -1.17% suppliers Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +2.62% and AAC Tech /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +1.36% rose 7.3% and 7.8%, respectively, a day after Apple unveiled new computers and iPads. Country Garden /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 -0.70% and China Overseas Land /zigman2/quotes/205731176/delayed HK:688 +0.32% rose 9.2% and 4.7%, respectively, after what UOB Kay Hian analyst Ivan Ip called an upbeat assessment on mainland China’s construction recovery from Wednesday’s PMI reading. Among the losers, CLP Holdings /zigman2/quotes/204954538/delayed HK:2 -0.92% was down 1.3% and Power Assets /zigman2/quotes/201496043/delayed HK:6 +0.32% slipped 1.3%.
Mainland China benchmarks continued slightly higher, as the latest Politburo meeting called for “healthy development” of the capital market. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.94% ticked up 0.1%. The smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.71% was up 0.9%, following its seventh straight monthly decline. Some AI-related names popped, boosted by President Xi Jinping’s pep talk, while infrastructure stocks outperformed the boarder market.
Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.22% rose 0.2%, as BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +1.31% rose after announcing a plan to give $10.4 billion from its shale sale to investors via an equally split buyback and special dividend. Stocks in New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.05% rose as well.
Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.4% despite fears that the country’s economic slowdown could be worse than it seems, after third-quarter GDP grew 2.28% year-over-year, slower than the previous quarter’s 3.3% expansion. Benchmark indexes in South Korea /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.78% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.32% and Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +0.32% all posted solid gains.