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Asian Stocks Mostly Calm Amidst Default And Taper Tantrums

asian mixed 22sep21 lt

Asian stock markets traded mixed on Wednesday, as the looming Fed announcement and Evergrande continued to reverberate, albeit on a lesser note. Chinese stock markets resumed trading after local holidays but were not overwhelmed by the Evergrande fiasco.

While major benchmarks in Australia and New Zealand ended positive, Japanese stocks continued to be beleaguered. Markets in Hong Kong and Korea were closed due to local holidays.

China's Shanghai Composite Index overcame an initial setback and finally closed the day's trading at 3,628.49, up 14.52 points or 0.4 percent. A liquidity infusion by the PBoC as well as assurances by China Evergrande helped soothe markets.

Though tensions eased on the solvency crisis at China Evergrande, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid 200.31 points or 0.7 percent to 29,639.40, partly due to fretting over the Fed's future course and partly due to concerns about the domestic economic situation.

Meanwhile, Bank of Japan maintained the status quo on short-term interest rates and issued a bleak commentary on factory output and exports. Weak inflation and weak consumption amidst supply chain disruptions dampened sentiment but also reinforced expectations that the central bank may not follow its global peers in an immediate rollback of pandemic-era stimulus.

Tokyo Electric Power company rallied 3.6 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, engaged in marine transportation business, gained 3.3 percent.

Tokai Carbon Co, a producer and exporter of graphite material for use mainly in nuclear energy lost the most with a decline of 5.5 percent. Marubeni Corp. followed suit with a decline of 4.3 percent.

Australia's S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 7,296.90 after gaining 23.10 points or 0.3 percent. The index is currently 4.4 percent below its 52-week high of 7632.80.

Metal recycling company Sims Metal Management was the best performing stock with a rally of 6.1 percent. Energy business related technical service provider Worley, iron ore exploration company Champion Iron, and oil and gas exploration company Beach Energy all gained more than 5 percent.

Specialty fashion retailer Premier Investments declined 4.5 percent after a brokerage cut its price target. Insurance Australia Group slumped around 3 percent amidst pay-out concerns on the earthquake in Victoria on Wednesday morning. Energy infrastructure company Ausnet Services dropped 2.7 percent amidst a takeover battle between Brookfield and APA.

The NZX50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange gained 28.86 points or 0.3 percent to close at 13,215.80. At closing levels, the index was 3.1 percent below the 52-week high of 13,643.78.

Dairy business Synlait Milk was the lead gainer, jumping 3.8 percent. Outdoor and surfing accessories maker Kathmandu Holdings followed suit with a gain of 2.7 percent.

Financial services group Heartland Group Holdings declined 2.6 percent whereas retirement home developer Ryman Healthcare shed 2.5 percent.

On Tuesday, the American stock indices had showed a lackluster performance as "Evergrande" continued to haunt investors ahead of Thursday's scheduled coupon payments on the embattled company's bonds. The Fed's potential tapering timeline also evoked caution amongst traders.

The Nasdaq 100 edged up 0.1 percent to close at 15,027.77, whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average had declined further by 0.2 percent to end at 33,919.84.

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