World Economy

Asian Stocks Mixed, Europe Advances 

Asian Stocks Mixed, Europe Advances Asian Stocks Mixed, Europe Advances 

Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday as investors reassessed the global economy following the International Monetary Bank’s global growth cut. They were also awaiting corporate earnings reports and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3% to 16,681.89, while South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.1% to 2,015.46. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.9% to 21,859.23 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 5,488.70. Stocks in Taiwan were lower, but indexes were higher in Indonesia and Singapore, AP reported.

The Nikkei continues to pull back from hefty gains made the week after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s big electoral victory on July 10, when his ruling coalition secured a bigger majority in Japan’s upper house, lifting hopes for economic stimulus.

Japanese banking, mining and steel stocks fell Wednesday. Steel-maker JFE Holdings Inc. dropped 4% while Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. shed 2.3%.

The Chinese central bank guided the yuan stronger on Wednesday with a fixing that appeared to deviate from its recent formula, causing traders to question the regulatory commitment to making the currency more responsive to market forces.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.694 per dollar prior to the market open, 0.04% firmer than the previous fix of 6.697. That was much firmer than traders’ models had suggested, with forecasts predicting a midpoint between 6.70 and 6.71.

  Better Margins

Technology companies led European equities higher amid encouraging earnings announcements, Bloomberg reported.

Software maker SAP SE climbed 3% after reporting second-quarter results that beat analyst projections. ASML Holding NV advanced 1.2% after Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment maker said sales increased and gave a better-than-estimated gross margin outlook. Lonza Group AG jumped 5.1% as the Swiss developer of drug ingredients raised its annual guidance. Anglo American Plc dragged miners lower, falling 6%, after cutting its copper production target.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3% in London. The gauge has alternated between gains and losses each day since last week, after a rebound of more than 9% following the post-Brexit vote slump.

Investors now watching corporate earnings results are also waiting for Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting for clues about President Mario Draghi’s plans to limit the fallout of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Economists in a Bloomberg survey predict policy will remain unchanged, but fresh measures will be announced before the end of the year.