clearn.png
Monday February 6th, 2023 9:19PM

Asian benchmarks mostly decline amid lingering China worries

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly declined Thursday amid concerns about the impact of China's “zero-COVID” strategy mixed with hopes for economic activity and tourism returning to normal.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and Shanghai, while gaining in Sydney. Oil prices fell.

Market watchers noted worries about how the Federal Reserve might not ease up on its aggressive interest rate hikes, which are aimed at curbing inflation pressures. Much of the market’s prior rally on Wall Street was due to such hopes, including easing inflation.

“Markets are still unconvinced that the U.S. Fed will opt for lower magnitude rate hikes as incoming data sent mixed signals,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya at Mizuho Bank.

U.S. retail data has shown improvement, while industrial production has dropped, highlighting the resilience of the service sector, as opposed to weakening external demand.

The Fed has been raising interest rates in an effort to slow the economy and tame the hottest inflation in decades. Wall Street has been worried it could hit the brakes too hard and bring on a recession.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.4% to finish at 27,930.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 7,135.70, after government data showed that the employment situation had improved in October from September.

South Korea's Kospi slipped 1.1% to 2,449.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2.0% to 17,879.00, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to 3,100.78.

China is maintaining its “zero-COVID” approach of mass testing many people alongside localized lockdowns and quarantines to eliminate the coronavirus entirely. Such restrictions have caused a supply crunch for some of Asia's biggest manufacturers, denting economic growth.

Elsewhere, the lifting of pandemic restrictions have fueled hopes of greater consumer spending and tourism revenue.

On Wall Street, retailers and technology companies led a broad slide Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%, wiping out most of its gains from a day earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq lost 1.5%.

Discouraging quarterly updates from Target and other retailers put investors in a selling mood, despite a report showing that U.S. retail sales remained strong last month. Target slumped 13.1% after cutting its forecasts for the holiday season following a surprisingly big drop in its third-quarter profits.

All told, the S&P 500 fell 32.94 points to 3,958.79. The Dow slid 39.09 points to 33,553.83. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 174.75 points to 11,183.66.

Smaller company stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 index fell 36.04 points, or 1.9%, to 1,853.17.

The latest government report on retail sales for October shows that consumer spending remains strong, though it's unclear whether that's because of more purchases or higher prices.

Strong consumer spending is typically a good sign for the economy, but it could make the Fed's strategy of cooling the economy more difficult.

“The better-than-expected retail sales results don't bolster the case that the Fed" can ease up on its campaign to slow the economy with high interest rates, said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

He said resilient consumer spending could improve the possibility that the Fed manages to pull off a so-called “soft landing” with its strategy. That would involve taming inflation without throwing the economy into a recession, or at least avoiding a damaging recession.

Bond yields were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, fell to 3.69% from 3.78% from late Tuesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 4.37% from 4.35% from late Tuesday.

Also hanging over market sentiments, especially the energy sector, is the war in Ukraine. Any worsening could cause spikes in prices for oil, gas and other commodities that the region produces.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.08 to $84.51 a barrel. U.S. crude oil prices initially rose, before settling 1.5% lower Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 92 cents to $91.94 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched down to 139.40 Japanese yen from 139.51 yen. The euro cost $1.0381, down from $1.0396.

___

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed to this report.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Asian benchmarks mostly decline amid lingering China worries
Asian shares mostly declined amid concerns about the impact of China’s “zero-COVID” strategy mixed with hopes for economic activity and tourism returning to normal
10:11PM ( 9 minutes ago )
US House win by ex-combat pilot cements Republican control
U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia has been reelected in California in a victory that hands Republicans control of the House
10:08PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Leno has surgery for burns from car fire, in good condition
Jay Leno remained hospitalized after suffering burns last weekend
10:07PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Facebook still banning Trump — for now — despite campaign
Donald Trump's suspension from Facebook and Instagram will stand for now despite his candidacy for president
9:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
G-20 leaders end summit condemning Russia despite divisions
Members of the Group of 20 leading economies have firmly condemned the war in Ukraine and warned that the conflict is worsening the global economy
8:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
Japan racks up trade deficit as exports, imports hit records
Japan marked a trade deficit for the 15th month in a row in October as both imports and exports reached record highs
8:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Key Fed official says he's open to slowing hikes in December
Christopher Waller, a key Federal Reserve official, added his voice to a rising number of Fed officials who have suggested that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its interest rate hikes beginning in December
4:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
Wall Street slips as Target stumbles and weighs on retailers
Wall Street closed lower as hefty drops in retailers and technology companies offset gains elsewhere in the market
4:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
Live Updates | Russia-Ukraine-War
A United Nations official says the U.N. is “cautiously optimistic” a wartime deal that has enabled Ukraine to export grain and Russia to ship its grain and fertilizer to world markets will be renewed
3:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Stocks slip on Wall Street after big rally as Target tumbles
Stocks are slipping at the open of trading on Wall Street following a rally that had lifted it the S&P 500 its highest level in two months
9:48AM ( 12 hours ago )
Wall Street flat with retail earnings, data pouring in
U.S. futures shifted between small gains and losses after Target issued a lackluster profit report, while investors awaited the U.S. government’s latest retail sales data
8:27AM ( 13 hours ago )
Markets mixed on jitters after missile lands in Poland
European stock benchmarks are mostly edging higher in early trading after Asian shares finished generally lower
3:43AM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
US-owned firms appear to help Venezuela avoid US sanctions
The Associated Press has learned that a company with an office in Houston and another owned by two American citizens appear to be helping Venezuela bypass U.S. sanctions
3:33PM ( 6 hours ago )
Drone hits Israeli-linked tanker; Iran frees 2 Greek tankers
An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Iran
11:16AM ( 11 hours ago )
Israeli-linked tanker hit by bomb-carrying drone off Oman
An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Iran
7:22AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Stocks open higher after wholesale inflation eases in US
Wall Street is opening higher after the government reported another decline in the pace of wholesale price inflation last month, the latest glimpse of hope that inflationary pressures in the U.S. might be easing
9:48AM ( 1 day ago )
Wall Street futures higher as data shows inflation easing
Futures on Wall Street edged higher and bond yields slipped following the latest government report showing that the hottest inflation in decades continues easing
9:10AM ( 1 day ago )
Wall Street futures higher with more inflation data on tap
Futures on Wall Street were moving higher a couple of hours before the opening bell as investors awaited more U.S. inflation data that could impact how much the Federal Reserve raises interest rates at its December meeting
8:27AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Russian missiles cross into Poland during strike on Ukraine
A Russian missile barrage on the Ukrainian power grid sent the war spilling over into neighboring countries, hitting NATO member Poland and cutting electricity to much of Moldova
2:58PM ( 1 day ago )
US offshore wind energy industry faces blowback from locals
The offshore wind power energy has ambitious plans for generating electricity for millions of American homes
2:05PM ( 1 day ago )
Strikes put Ukraine in darkness; missiles cross into Poland
Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy facilities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, striking targets across the country and causing widespread blackouts, and a U.S. official said missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, where two people were killed
2:05PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
US House win by ex-combat pilot cements Republican control
U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia has been reelected in California in a victory that hands Republicans control of the House
10:08PM ( 12 minutes ago )
GOP wins slim House majority, complicating ambitious agenda
Republicans have won control of the U.S. House, returning the party to power in Washington and giving conservatives leverage to blunt President Joe Biden’s agenda and spur a flurry of investigations
10:05PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Celtics claim 8th straight win, beat Hawks 126-101
Jaylen Brown scored 22 points to lead a balanced Boston attack and the East-leading Celtics stretched their winning streak to eight with a 126-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night
10:03PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Thailand to stress sustainability at Asia-Pacific summit
Leaders from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum begin a two-day summit in Thailand’s capital on Friday with a crowded backdrop of issues to contend with: the Ukraine war, great power rivalry in Asia, inflation and food and energy shortages
10:02PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Texas executes man for killing ex-girlfriend and her son, 7
Texas has executed an inmate for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her 7-year-old son more than 17 years ago
9:47PM ( 32 minutes ago )