Asian Stocks Weighed Down By Rate Hike Fears

Asian markets finished trading on a mixed note on Thursday amidst anxiety surrounding hawkish monetary policy and hopes of stimulus in China.

Concerns about rising interest rates and slowing economic growth dominated market sentiment. Inflation readings from China due later in the day are expected to show a minor uptick in inflation.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 15.83 points or 0.5 percent to finish trading at 3213.59. The day’s trading ranged between 3,180.54 and 3,225.53. The Shenzhen Component Index also added 14.05 points or 0.1 percent to close at 10,722.87.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index shed 272.47 points or 0.9 percent to end trading at 31,641.27. The day’s trading range was between 31,420.45 and 32,035.95.

Eisai Co. surged 7.4 percent. Oki Electric Industry Co. rallied 4.6 percent. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chiyoda Corp. all rallied more than 3 percent.

Citizen Holdings Co. was the biggest laggard with a decline of 7.3 percent. Taiyo Yuden Co., Trend Micro, Yamato Holdings Co. and Konami Corp. all declined more than 3 percent.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange added 47.18 points or 0.3 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 19,299.18. The day’s trading range was between a high of 19,339.82 and a low of 19.087.66.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index dipped 4.75 points or 0.2 percent to close trading at 2,610.85. The day’s trading range was between 2,595.33 and 2,612.39.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 7,099.70 after losing 18.30 points or 0.3 percent. The day’s trading range was between 7,093.50 and 7,132.00.

Energy business New Hope Corp. was the top gainer with a surge of 8.6 percent. Whitehaven Coal, another energy business added 5.5 percent, followed by Computershare, which gained 4.7 percent. Healthcare business Healius and Beach Energy both gained more than 3 percent.

Pharma business Imugene declined 7 percent. Centuria Capital Group followed with a loss of 6.3 percent. Healthcare business Polynovo, Reliance Worldwide Corp. and Boral all declined in excess of 5 percent.

The NZX 50 of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 43.41 points or 0.4 percent to close at 11,715.74. Trading ranged between 11,663.83 and 11,759.74.

Banking business Heartland Group Holdings topped with a gain of more than 5 percent. Tourism Holdings followed with a 4.8 percent rally. Kiwi Property Group gained 3.4 percent. Software business Vista Group International added 2.8 percent whereas KMD Brands added 1.9 percent.

Healthcare business Pacific Edge declined 6.4 percent. Restaurant Brands New Zealand, Manawa Energy, utilities business Mercury NZ and Infratil all fell more than 2 percent.

Wall Street closed on a mixed note on Wednesday amidst a rise in bond yields that followed the surprise rate hike by Bank of Canada. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.3 percent to close at 13,104.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3 percent to finish trading at 33,665.02.

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