Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed after weaker economic data from China, Japan

November 14
09:52 2019

Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday after weaker-than-expected economic data from China and Japan, and reports of a sticking point in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the trade talks were being held up by China’s reluctance to agree on a specific figure for U.S. agricultural purchases. President Donald Trump has said China has agreed to buy $ 50 billion of farm goods. Rolling back tariffs and enforcement mechanisms are also reportedly still points of contention.

In economic news Thursday, China said its economic activity grew slower than expected in October, up 4.7% from a year ago, and down from September’s 5.8% increase. Economists had expected a 5.2% rise. Data also showed Japan’s economy grew slower than expected in the September-ending quarter, up just 0.2% year-over-year, following a 1.8% expansion in the previous quarter. Economists had forecast a 0.8% gain.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.78%   fell 0.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.92%   retreated 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.07%   inched up 0.1% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.40%   gained 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.18%   rose 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.14%  , Singapore STI, -0.29%  , Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.08%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.93%   fell. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.48%   rose 0.5%.

Among individual stocks, Yahoo Japan parent Z Holdings 4689, +16.67%  , which is controlled by SoftBank 9984, +0.07%  , skyrocketed in Tokyo trading after reports that it may acquire chat app Line 3938, +2.80%  . Rakuten 4755, -5.76%   and FamilyMart 8028, -3.28%   sank. In Hong Kong, Tencent 700, -2.69%   fell after reporting a 13% drop in quarterly profit. Insurer AIA 1299, -1.93%   also declined, while Apple supplier AAC 2018, +3.71%   gained. Kia Motors 000270, +1.40%   advanced in South Korea, while Foxconn 2354, -1.06%   slid in Taiwan. In Australia, BHP BHP, -0.08%   was about flat after naming a new CEO, while Beach Energy BPT, +1.08%   gained.

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