Asian Shares Mixed Amid China Growth Concerns

asian mixed 22nov22 lt

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as fresh COVID-19 outbreaks and strict pandemic measures stoked concerns that Beijing might slow the reopening of its economy.

China's Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.1 percent higher at 3,088.94 despite increasing restrictions on millions of people in multiple cities to fight virus outbreaks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.3 percent to 17,424.41.

Japanese shares rose notably as the yen continued to weaken after comments from several Federal Reserve officials. The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.6 percent to 28,115.74, while the broader Topix ended 1.1 percent higher at 1,994.75.

Exporters Honda Motor, Canon, Sony and Panasonic surged 1-3 percent. Drug maker Shionogi & Co advanced 2.8 percent after reports of its COVID-19 drug gaining efficacy approval.

Seoul stocks ended lower as investors grappled with a raft of global uncertainties. The Kospi dropped 0.6 percent to 2,405.27 ahead of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting minutes due this week. Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Hyundai Motor all fell over 1 percent.

Australian markets rose, led by gains in the mining and energy sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.6 percent to settle at 7,181.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.6 percent higher at 7,376.40.

Mining heavyweight BHP rose 1.2 percent after it reached an agreement with workers to avert a strike at its Escondida copper mine in Chile. Santos and Woodside Energy jumped 2-3 percent, tracking higher oil prices after Saudi Arabia denied reports of planned increases in OPEC+ supply.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 11,420.42.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight on growth concerns, as COVID lockdowns returned in China and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly said it is premature to rule out a large rate hike at the next policy meeting in December.

Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester said she doesn't see any pause in the rate hike cycle yet.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic said he favors slowing the pace of interest rate increases, with no more than 1 percentage point more of hikes.

The Dow slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.1 percent.

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