By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stocks markets finished predominately higher Thursday, underscored by big rebounds in China’s stock benchmarks, after muted moves in the U.S. and Europe overnight partly on trade-war jitters. Japan’s Nikkei, however, finished the session with a modest loss, hampered by a further uptick for the yen.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0307% fell to session lows of ¥110.98 versus ¥110.95 in late New York trading, with the Japanese equity gauge lagging its peers amid fresh U.S.-China trade concerns. The Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.34% closed down 0.2%, with the oil/coal-products sector leading the way lower, skidding down following the overnight slump in oil prices.
Shares of Japan Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/201212147/delayed JP:1662 -3.37% tumbled by 10%. Japanese skin-care giant Shiseido /zigman2/quotes/207601624/delayed JP:4911 +0.81% , meanwhile, rebounded strongly Thursday, rising 7.8%, after selling off sharply, down 4.4% on Wednesday, following its earnings report, in which it raised its yearly guidance. Shiseido shares have soared 49.5% so far this year.
After starting with modest declines, Chinese stocks staged a potent recovery in the wake of Wednesday’s sizable pullback, highlighting a volatile stretch for Beijing’s stock benchmarks amid tariff spats with the U.S. Perhaps helping sentiment, inflation numbers came in higher than expected last month, a possible sign that demand is holding up. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.34% finished up 1.8% and the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.15% jumped 2.7%. Consumer and cyclical stocks were the top performers, even as oil names confined gains.
Meanwhile, the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.37% put in a 0.8% gain, logging its fourth straight positive finish. Oil stocks fell though, with PetroChina /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -4.20% and CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -1.73% losing 1% and 1.2%, respectively. Property stocks also came under pressure after major lending local banks announced plans to finally raise interest rates — perhaps signalling the end to a decade of low borrowing costs. Shares of Hang Lung Properties /zigman2/quotes/200230831/delayed HK:101 +0.66% ended the day off 2.3% while those for New World Development /zigman2/quotes/202357413/delayed HK:17 +1.62% ended flat, according to FactSet data.
South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.04% added 0.1%, marking its third consecutive gain, even as auto giant Hyundai /zigman2/quotes/206684590/delayed KR:005380 0.00% saw its stock finish down by 1.2%. Stocks in Taiwan wrapped up off 0.4%.
Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.0013% brushed aside energy losses to end up by 0.5%. Santos shares /zigman2/quotes/207349564/delayed AU:STO -2.22% finished down 2.3%, shares of Woodside Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL -2.84% lost 0.4%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.25% rebounded 0.8% following underperformance the past few days as Ryman Healthcare, /zigman2/quotes/207688158/delayed NZ:RYM 0.00% a retirement-village operator, jumped 2.8%, touching a record.