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Asian Shares Edge Lower On News Of Missile Strike In Poland

asianmarket 021219 16nov22 lt

Asian stocks ended on a subdued note Wednesday, as investors waited for more clarity over reports Russian missiles aimed at Ukraine have hit NATO territory in Poland.

If the missiles that hit Poland were fired by Russia, it would mark the first time in the war that Russian weapons have come down on a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Regional losses were somewhat tempered by an easing of inflation and interest rate concerns after data showed U.S. producer inflation hit a 14-month low in October.

The dollar rally fizzled out and gold steadied near a three-month high, while oil prices slipped on demand worries amid growing COVID-19 concerns in China.

China's Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,119.98 on growth concerns after data showed house prices in the country marked their worst fall in seven years in October.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.5 percent to 18,256.48 on profit taking after recent strong gains on optimism over the scaling back of COVID restrictions and new initiatives to support the property sector.

Japanese shares edged up slightly after U.S. President Joe Biden said it was "unlikely" that the blast in Poland may have been caused by a missile fired from Russian territory.

Separate reports suggested that Ukrainian air defense might have fired the missile that killed 2 in Poland.

The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 0.1 percent to 28,028.30, while the broader Topix finished marginally lower at 1,963.29, dragged down by insurers.

T&D Holdings slumped 4.1 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings tumbled 3.6 percent.

Japan's core machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital spending, fell 4.6 percent in September from the previous month, government data showed earlier today.

Seoul stocks fell, with the Kospi ending 0.1 percent lower at 2,477.45 amid increased geopolitical tensions in Europe. Bio stocks led losses, with Samsung Biologics and Celltrion falling 2.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

Australian shares ended lower for a third straight session despite positive wage data. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index dipped 0.3 percent to 7,122.20, with financials and healthcare stocks leading losses. The broader All Ordinaries Index fell 0.3 percent to 7,327.40.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 Index ended marginally lower at 11,230.55.

U.S. stocks ended higher overnight, as Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard's comments and weak producer price inflation data added to hopes of smaller Fed rate rises.

Walmart's strong results also brought some cheer, but stocks pulled back well off their best levels of the day following reports that Russian missiles had landed in NATO-member Poland, killing two people.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.5 percent to a nearly two-month closing high, the S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent and the Dow inched up 0.2 percent.

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