Asian Shares Mixed As China Data Beats Expectations

asian mixed 17jan23 lt

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as China growth data beat forecasts and caution prevailed ahead of a Bank of Japan policy meeting.

The dollar index gained in Asian trading, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

The yen steadied around 128.69 and Japanese 10-year government bond yields topped the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) policy ceiling for a third straight session amid speculation the central bank might call for an exit from its decade-long ultra-loose monetary policy on Wednesday.

Oil prices traded mixed after China posted its weakest economic growth in nearly half a century.

Chinese shares ended slightly lower as data showed GDP grew an annual 3 percent in 2022 despite various growth pressures.

Other indicators for December such as retail sales and industrial production were weak but beat forecasts, helping limit the downside.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent to 3,224.24, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.8 percent to 21,577.64.

Japanese shares rose sharply as the yen eased against the dollar after recent strong gains on speculation that the Bank of Japan might adjust its yield-curve control policy.

The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.2 percent to 26,138.68, rebounding from two straight sessions of heavy losses. The broader Topix ended 0.9 percent higher at 1,902.89. Automakers Honda Motor, Toyota and Nissan rallied 2-3 percent as the dollar drifted above multi-month lows.

Tech stocks such as Advantest and Tokyo Electron jumped 2-3 percent. Industrial robot maker Yaskawa Electric surged 4.1 percent to pace the gainers.

Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing added 2.8 percent after hitting six-month lows in the past two sessions.

Seoul stocks fell notably as traders booked profits following nine days of strong gains. The Kospi shed 0.9 percent to close at 2,379.39. Naver, Kakao and LG Energy Solution lost 3-5 percent.

Australian markets ended marginally lower to snap a four-day rally as miners declined, offsetting gains in the healthcare sector.

Investors ignored the results of a survey showing that consumer sentiment in the country improved for a second straight month in January.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group fell over 1 percent as weak economic data from China stirred concerns about a global recession.

Gold miners and Energy stocks also finished broadly lower. Origin Energy lost 2.1 percent after the gas provider granted more time for suitor Brookfield to review its books.

JB Hi-Fi dropped 1.3 percent despite the electronics retailer reporting record half-year earnings and sales.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 0.6 percent to 11,881.

U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday overnight after the S&P 500 notched its largest weekly gain in two months on Friday.

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