World Economy

Asia Shares Mostly Lower

Asia Shares Mostly LowerAsia Shares Mostly Lower

Asian stocks gave up early gains to end mostly lower on Wednesday as oil extended overnight losses, the yen strengthened and a slew of data painted a mixed picture of regional economies.

Lingering uncertainty over Brexit and caution ahead of Thursday’s OPEC and the ECB meetings as well as Friday’s US jobs report also kept investors cautious, RTT reported.

Chinese shares slipped as a slew of data reinforced investor concerns about a decelerating economy. The benchmark Shanghai Composite inched down 3.11 points or 0.11% to 2,913.51 after climbing 3.3% on Tuesday amid speculation that the nation’s equities would be included in the MSCI indexes. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 54.11 points or 0.26% to 20,760.98.

Japan’s Topix index of shares extended declines, dropping 1.5%. The yen jumped to 109.86 against the dollar after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers he would delay an increase in Japan’s sales tax for a second time until 2019, in a bid to help support consumer spending. Against the euro, it climbed 0.8% to 122.24 yen.

The stronger yen weighed on exporters, with Sony, Nissan Motor, Mazda, Honda, Panasonic and Sharp Corp losing 1-2%. Daiichi Sankyo shares tumbled 2.7% after the drugmaker said it would not proceed with the second part of its late-stage study on lung cancer drug patritumab.

Mobile carrier Softbank Group rose 0.4% after saying it would sell at least $7.9 billion of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Australian shares fell sharply despite better-than-expected GDP data. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 55.40 points or 1.03% to 5,323.20 and the broader All Ordinaries index closed 52.60 points or 0.97% lower at 5,395.20, as commodity price weakness kept mining and energy stocks under pressure.

Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group retreated 2-3% as iron ore prices hit a three-month low on renewed concerns over a global supply glut. Energy stocks Origin Energy, Woodside Petroleum and Santos lost 2-4%.

Seoul shares ended almost flat after the latest survey from Nikkei revealed the country’s manufacturing sector moved barely into expansion in May with a PMI score of 50.1, up from 50.0 in April.

The benchmark Kospi eased 0.68 point or 0.03% to close at 1,982.72. Hyundai Merchant Marine fell 2.8% on profit taking after two days of strong gains.

New Zealand shares fell from a record high amid a weak global trend. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slid 17.01 points or 0.24% to close at 7,022.40.

India’s Sensex was moving up half a percent as encouraging GDP, core sector output and fiscal deficit numbers raised optimism over the country’s economic prospects.

Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index was gaining 0.9%, Malaysian shares were marginally higher and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.7% while Singapore’s Straits Times index was down 0.1%.