Asian Shares Mostly Higher As Investors Seek Bargains

stockmarkets jan17 30aug22 lt

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Tuesday despite a weak lead from Wall Street overnight. Investors seemed to go bargain hunting following steep losses in the previous session after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to fight inflation by keeping interest rates elevated.

Chinese and Hong Kong markets ended lower despite Chinese authorities pledging to prop up faltering growth.

The dollar index eased slightly amid falling Treasury yields, while oil prices slipped after surging nearly 4 percent overnight.

China's Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,227.22 despite the country's finance ministry pledging to step up measures to boost demand and stabilize employment and prices in the second half of the year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4 percent to close at 19,949.03.

Japanese shares rallied after the release of upbeat employment data. The jobless rate held steady at 2.6 percent in July, while the availability of jobs grew for the seventh straight month to a more than two-year high, government data showed earlier today.

The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.1 percent to 28,195.58 after having hit a two-week low in the previous session. The broader Topix ended 1.3 percent higher at 1,968.38.

Technology heavyweights led the surge, with Advantest, Screen Holdings, Tokyo Electron and SoftBank Group rising 1-2 percent. NEC soared 6 percent on share buyback news.

Olympus added 2.5 percent after the medical equipment maker agreed to sell its microscope unit to private equity firm Bain Capital for 427.6 billion yen ($3.1 billion).

Seoul stocks advanced as investors hunted for value in beaten-down shares. The Kospi gained 1 percent to close at 2,450.93. LG Energy Solution, Kakao and Naver rose 1-2 percent.

Australian markets ended modestly higher, led by gains in the energy and tech sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent to 6,998.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.5 percent higher at 7,230.40.

Woodside Energy rallied 1.5 percent. The oil & gas producer more than tripled its interim dividend payout after reporting higher underlying profits.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index surged 1.2 percent to 11,648.65. Dairy producer a2 Milk jumped 6 percent to extend gains after reporting upbeat FY22 results.

U.S. stocks saw further downside overnight to extend Friday's rout, as rising Treasury yields and higher oil prices amid reassurances of supply cuts by OPEC and its allies prompted investors to reprice rate hike expectations.

The Dow shed 0.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1 percent and the S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent.

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