Asian markets pull back, led by sharp declines in China


Asian stock markets fell in early trading Thursday, after Wall Street closed lower and the Fed minutes suggested more interest-rate hikes ahead.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.66%

  was down 0.5%, with energy stocks weak while financials were up amid fresh overnight gains in bond yields. After crude’s latest decline Wednesday, oil distributor Idemitsu Kosan

5019, -4.53%

  was down 4.5% and oil explorer Inpex

1605, -2.02%

  dropped 1.9%. The prospects of still-higher interest rates helped financials. Sony Financial

8729, +2.44%

 , whose primary business is insurance, was up 1.9% while major bank Resona

8308, +1.00%

  gained 1.5%. Elsewhere, Japan’s exports fell in September for the first time in almost two years, weighed down over fears of the U.S.-China trade dispute and a global economic slowdown.

After yesterday’s holiday and strong regional gains, Hong Kong stocks were little changed amid generally modest declines elsewhere in the region. The Hang Seng Index

HSI, -0.11%

  was about flat. The energy sector declined following Wednesday’s crude-price slide. Oil giant CNOOC

0883, -2.41%

  was down 2.5% and Sinopec

0386, -3.53%

  was off 3.3%. But developer New World

0017, +0.91%

  rose 1.3%.

Chinese stocks slid further. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -1.99%

  was down 1.7% and the Shenzhen Composite

399106, -1.68%

  by 1.5% as both hit fresh four-year lows. Oil stocks were among the weakest plays, while tourism and winemakers are also underperforming. China International Travel Service

601888, -6.59%

 , one of the consumer “white horses,” fell 5.7% after dropping the 10% daily limit yesterday as gambling reportedly isn’t coming to Hainan island, as some had hoped. Also, on Wednesday the U.S. Treasury declined to label China a currency manipulator, but said it was concerned about the yuan’s recent weakness.

South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.75%

  dropped 0.6%, as the Bank of Korea announced it would keep its monetary policy steady. Chip maker SK Hynix

000660, -2.13%

 was down 2%.

Australia’s benchmark

XJO, -0.11%

  was about flat, with energy companies declining. New Zealand’s index

NZ50GR, +0.13%

  rose slightly, as Air New Zealand

AIR, -0.18%

 rose after the drop in oil prices.

Markets in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.33%

 , Singapore

STI, -0.15%

 and Malaysia

FBMKLCI, -0.13%

  were all down.

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2018-10-18 02:51:11

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