Asian Shares Mixed As Growth Worries Weigh

Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as investors fretted about slowing growth amid supply chain bottlenecks.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday slashed its 2021 economic growth outlook for Asia and warned that supply chain disruptions, inflation pressures and a looming fresh wave of COVID-19 infections pose downside risks. However, it raised the economic growth outlook for 2022.

Chinese shares fell slightly amid renewed uncertainty around monetary policies and China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 6.15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,587, with property developers and coal stocks tumbling even as China’s central bank maintained its benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans for an 18th month at its October fixing. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 348.81 points, or 1.4 percent, to 26,136.02.

Japanese markets ended off their day’s highs amid concerns about rising U.S. Treasury yields and as data showed the country’s export growth weakened to its slowest in seven months in September.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended up 40.03 points, or 0.1 percent, at 29,255.55, after having risen as much as 0.9 percent earlier in the day. The broader Topix settled marginally higher at 2,027.67.

Global start-up investor SoftBank Group climbed 4.4 percent and electronic parts maker TDK added 3.2 percent. Higher bond yields lifted banks, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rising over 1 percent.

Australian markets gained ground, with banks rising on expectations they will benefit from a recent uptick in the Australian 10-year bond yield.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 38.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,413.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 37 points, or 0.5 percent, at 7,727.20.

The big four banks rose between 0.6 percent and 1.1 percent. BHP gained half a percent after the mining giant increased its all-cash offer for Canadian nickel developer Noront Resources.

Online retailer surged 6.7 percent after delivering strong growth in quarterly sales.

Whitehaven Coal plunged 7.9 percent and fellow coal miner Yancoal Australia lost 6.2 percent after the Chinese government said it would intervene to curb surging coal prices.

Seoul stocks gave up early gains to end lower amid an institutional selloff. The Kospi slid 15.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 3,013.13.

New Zealand shares advanced, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index finishing up 48.32 points, or 0.4 percent, at 13,114.24.

U.S. stocks rose overnight as upbeat earnings news from top name companies helped offset worries about inflation and slowing growth amid supply chain bottlenecks.

The Dow gained 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both climbed around 0.7 percent.

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