Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday despite the positive cues from Wall Street and upbeat economic data from China. Investors turned cautious as they shifted focus to upcoming central bank meetings this week for further direction.
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement is due on Wednesday, while the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are scheduled to announce their respective monetary policy decisions on Thursday.
Shares in China and Hong Kong extended their winning streak to a third day as upbeat economic data added to optimism about the economic recovery in China.
Data released by China showed that the country’s industrial production and retail sales increased in August from a year ago and beat expectations, while fixed asset investment declined for the January-to-August period.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 16.87 points, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 3,295.68, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 92.48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,732.76.
Japanese shares closed lower on profit taking after three straight days of gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index dropped 104.41 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 23,454.89 and the broader Topix declined 10.26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,640.84.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group added 0.3 percent, while Fast Retailing dipped 0.3 percent.
Australian stocks ended little changed, as investors digested minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s September 1 monetary policy meeting released today.
Members of the RBA’s monetary policy board acknowledged that the board’s unprecedented level of fiscal easing has played a key role in helping to sustain the Australian economy, minutes from the meeting revealed. The members added that they intend to maintain the board’s highly accommodative stance as long as necessary.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index edged down 4.70 points to close at 5,894.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index added 0.80 points to 6,079.30.
In the tech space, Afterpay gained 3.4 percent and Appen advanced 1.7 percent, while WiseTech Global dipped0.3 percent.
In the mining sector, BHP Group rose 0.7 percent, while Rio Tinto declined 1.5 percent and Fortescue Metals ended little changed.
New Zealand shares closed modestly lower, reflecting weakness in blue-chip stocks. The benchmark NZX 50 Index dipped 19.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 11,770.75.
Among blue chip stocks, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare declined 1.7 percent and Fletcher Building lost 1.1 percent.
Meanwhile, travel booking software company Serko rallied 4.5 percent, while Heartland Group Holdings added 1.7 percent after gaining A$1 billion in Australian reverse mortgage funding.
Seoul stocks rose for the fourth consecutive day to close at a more than two-year high, led by gains in tech shares. The benchmark Kospi added 15.67 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 2,443.58.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1 percent and chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.4 percent, while internet portal giant Naver gained 3 percent.
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