Asian Shares Mostly Higher As Rate Hike Bets Ease

Asian stocks rose broadly on Tuesday, even as the upside remained capped by growing concerns of a global recession.

Chinese shares finished marginally higher amid expectations that policymakers would roll out more stimulus measures to boost sagging economic growth.

Media reports suggested that the government is supporting beleaguered property developers with bond guarantees.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.1 percent to 19,830.52 as the audit watchdog widened its investigation into China Evergrande Group’s financial reporting.

Japanese shares ended on a flat note as underwhelming data from China and the United States added to concerns over weakening global growth.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended marginally lower at 28,868.91, snapping a two-day rally that lifted it to over seven-month high on Monday. The broader Topix slipped 0.2 percent to settle at 1,981.96.

Shipping firms led losses, with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha all falling around 4 percent. Oil explorers and refiners followed suit as oil extend recent losses on demand worries.

SoftBank Group lost 2.6 percent after the Financial Times reported hedge fund Elliott Management effectively exited its position in the Japanese technology start-up investor.

Seoul stocks rose for a third straight session as markets pared bets for continued aggressive Fed tightening.

The Kospi edged up 0.2 percent to finish at 2,533.52. Tech stocks gained ground, with Samsung Electronics rising 1.3 percent and SK Hynix adding 3.6 percent following Microsoft co-founder Bill Gate’s visit to Seoul.

Australian markets advanced as mining giant BHP reported its largest-ever full-year profit and minutes of the Reserve Bank’s August 2 policy meeting indicated that the board is not on a pre-set tightening path.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent to 7,105.40, while the broader All Ordinaires Index closed 0.5 percent higher at 7,361.90.

BHP surged 4.1 percent after reporting a record profit for fiscal 2022, boosted by strong commodity prices and higher sales from its Western Australia iron ore operations.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index climbed 0.5 percent to 11,847.15 ahead of the Reserve bank decision on Wednesday. Mercury Energy tumbled 3.2 percent despite the power company more than tripling its full-year profit.

U.S. stocks reversed course to end higher overnight even as disappointing Chinese and U.S. economic data complicated the economic outlook.

New York state manufacturing activity plummeted in August and a gauge of homebuilder sentiment declined for an eighth-straight month, sending Treasury yields lower.

The Dow rose half a percent, the S&P 500 edged up 0.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.6 percent amid bets that moderating inflation will help the Fed to slow the pace of interest rate hikes.

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