Asian markets pull back, led by sharp declines in China

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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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