By Ese Erheriene
A widely lower start to Asian stock trading became a little less so as Thursday went on as bulls rested amid a global pause to this month’s equities strength.
Disappointing quarterly reports from the likes of Chipotle Mexican Grill /zigman2/quotes/200781108/composite CMG -0.68% CMG and Boeing /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -3.52% weighed on stocks Wednesday, bringing at least a momentary pause to this month’s strong global gains.
Additionally, investors displayed caution ahead of anticipated comments from the European Central Bank later Thursday on scaling down bond purchases. ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference is “about the only thing that matters today,” said Prakash Sakpal, an Asia economist at ING.
In China, stocks rose after early softness that had followed the unveiling of members of the country’s top governing body on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.09% finished up 0.3%.
But in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +3.28% lost 0.4%.
A tale of two Hong Kong traders
With Hong Kong's famous trading floor closing, WSJ spoke to the city's oldest stock trader and one of its youngest ones about how the industry has changed and where it's headed. Video/Photo: Clément Bürge/WSJ
Meanwhile, the Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.11% rose 0.2%, reversing some of a late selloff Wednesday that ended the index’s record 16-day winning streak. A firmer yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0813% capped Thursday’s stock gains, as some financial names jumped in anticipation of further U.S. interest-rate increases. Daiwa Securities /zigman2/quotes/201391978/delayed JP:8601 +0.06% climbed 5.4% and Nomura /zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed JP:8604 +0.57% rose 2.7%.
New Zealand’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.91% closed down 0.4% after ending a 15-day winning streak Wednesday. It was the index’s biggest drop in six weeks. Fletcher Building /zigman2/quotes/200215142/delayed NZ:FBU -0.14% weighed on the index with a 2.7% decline, extending Wednesday’s drop of 2.7%.