Asian stock markets fell in early trading Thursday, after Wall Street closed lower and the Fed minutes suggested more interest-rate hikes ahead.
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
was down 4.5% and oil explorer Inpex
dropped 1.9%. The prospects of still-higher interest rates helped financials. Sony Financial
, whose primary business is insurance, was up 1.9% while major bank Resona
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
was about flat. The energy sector declined following Wednesday’s crude-price slide. Oil giant CNOOC
was down 2.5% and Sinopec
was off 3.3%. But developer New World
Chinese stocks slid further. The Shanghai Composite
was down 1.7% and the Shenzhen Composite
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
, 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
dropped 0.6%, as the Bank of Korea announced it would keep its monetary policy steady. Chip maker SK Hynix
was down 2%.
was about flat, with energy companies declining. New Zealand’s index
rose slightly, as Air New Zealand
rose after the drop in oil prices.
Markets in Taiwan
were all down.
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