Stocks rise in Sydney, but dip in Tokyo and Hong Kong
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, after Wall Street hit more records and Australia confirmed it was in its first recession in 29 years.
Japan’s Nikkei 225
advanced 0.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
slid 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite
fell 0.4% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
advanced 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi
slipped 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
fell. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
“A positive tone had been assumed by Asia markets, finding inspiration from Wall Street with the gains notched overnight,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a commentary. “Although the U.S. economy is nowhere near the state before the COVID-19 hit yet, these evidences of continued recovery nevertheless works in the favor of keeping the cautious optimism and the equity rally going.”
Data showed Australia’s economy shrank 7% in the second quarter, after slipping 0.3% in the previous quarter, marking its first back-to-back periods of contraction — the widely recognized signifier of recession — since 1991. The massive downturn, caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns, has been softened by record fiscal stimulus to keep businesses open and workers paid.
In other economic data, South Korea’s inflation hit a five-month high, gaining 0.7% in August, its fastest growth since March and outpacing analysts’ expectations.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
closed at new records as encouraging economic data and dovish statements from the Fed fueled buying; tech stocks especially benefited. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
also rose slightly.
Benchmark U.S. crude
added 36 cents to $43.12 a barrel. It rose 15 cents to $42.76 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude
, the international standard, gained 38 cents to $45.96 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar
inched up to 106.07 Japanese yen from 105.97 yen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.