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Asian Shares Mixed After Powell Comments

asian mixed 25oct21 lt

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a virtual conference that the present high price pressure may not subside soon and that the central bank was on track to start tapering its stimulus.

Chinese shares rose after China Evergrande said it had resumed work on more than 10 real estate projects in six cities including Shenzhen and added it plans to prioritize growth of its nascent electric vehicles business over its troubled core real estate operations.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 27.26 points, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 3,609.86. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended on a flat note amid news of trials of a property tax in China.

Japanese shares fell as the yen strengthened and investors awaited cues from the looming general elections. The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 204.44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 28,600.41, while the broader Topix closed 0.3 percent lower at 1,995.42.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group tumbled 3.4 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing gave up 3.8 percent.

New Zealand markets were closed for Labor Day. Australian markets eked out modest gains as strong commodity prices helped limit mining and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 25.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,441, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 27.50 points, or 0.4 percent, at 7,754.30.

BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto rose between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent, tracking a rebound in iron ore futures.

Mineral Resources shares soared 9 percent after announcing plans to restart production at its Wodiga lithium mine in the third quarter of fiscal 2022.

Energy stocks rebounded after four straight days of losses as oil prices hit multi-year highs amid tight supply and solid fuel demand in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

Santos, Woodside Petroleum and Beach Energy jumped 4-5 percent. Origin Energy rallied 3.9 percent after it agreed to sell its 10 percent stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project for A$2.12 billion to investor EIG Partners.Telco Telstra gained over 2 percent after it agreed to buy Digicel Pacific.

Seoul stocks snapped a three-day losing streak amid expectations that third-quarter corporate earnings would be better than expected.

The Kospi rose 14.38 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 3,020.54. POSCO rallied 3.1 percent and Hana Financial Group advanced 2.5 percent after reporting consensus-beating earnings.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday as earnings from several big-name companies proved to be a mixed bag and Fed Chair Powell sounded a note of heightened concern over persistently high inflation.

The Dow edged up 0.2 percent to reach a new record closing high, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.8 percent.

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