Asian shares mixed; Chinese economy grew 3.9% in July-Sept


TOKYO – Asian stocks were mixed on Monday as benchmarks in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell after Beijing reported the Chinese economy had gained momentum in the most recent quarter.

The benchmarks were higher in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul. Oil prices fell. Market watchers are cautiously monitoring inflationary pressures and any signs of risk of regional slowdowns.

The second-biggest economy grew 3.9% annually, up from 0.4% in the previous quarter, but that was still one of the slowest expansions in decades as the country struggled with repeated city closures to combat virus outbreaks.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 27,029.83 in afternoon trade. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.5% to 6,779.40. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.9% to 2,232.59. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 6.3% to 15,185.93, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.9% to 2,982.50.

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In China, Xi Jinping granted himself a third five-year term as leader of the ruling Communist Party. Xi gave no sign of plans to change the strict “zero-COVID” strategy that has impacted businesses and trade. He noted that no policy changes would strain relations with Washington and its Asian neighbors.

The future for London’s FTSE 100 was in decline after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he would not be running for Conservative Party leadership. Former CFO Rishi Sunak is now the favorite to succeed Liz Truss, who resigned last week after her tax-cut stimulus package caused turmoil in financial markets.

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Wall Street ended last week with a broad rally that saw tech stocks, retailers and healthcare companies take a big chunk of gains.

The S&P 500 rose 2.4% to 3,752.75 for a weekly gain of 4.7%, its biggest weekly gain since June.

The Dow was up 2.5% to 31,082.56 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.3%. The Russell 2000 Index rose 2.2% to 1,742.24.

Investors have focused on corporate earnings while looking for clues as to how inflation and rising interest rates are shaping the global economy.

The Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates by another three-quarters of a percentage point at its November meeting. That’s three times the size of the Fed’s usual measure.

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In forex trading, the US dollar rose to 148.93 Japanese yen from 147.65 yen. The Bank of Japan reportedly intervened to support the yen on Friday after the dollar surged above the 150-yen mark. The dollar fell after the reported intervention. The euro cost 98.47 cents after 98.62 cents.

The growing strength of the dollar against the yen and other currencies has increased inflationary pressures in these countries by raising the cost of imports and debt repayments.

In energy trading, the US crude index fell 83 cents to $84.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 85 cents to $92.65 a barrel.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter


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