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Asia Market Update

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Asia-Pacific equities experienced fresh selling Wednesday following modest overnight declines in Europe and the U.S., as commodity prices added to ongoing softness.

Tech stocks were key to Tuesday’s weakness in Asia and the up-to-3% overnight slide in metals prices added to pressure on Wednesday.

The Nikkei NIK, -1.61%  ended morning trading down 0.9% Wednesday, just off session lows, on weakness in commodity stocks and yen gains. The U.S. dollarJPYUSD, +0.423649%  fell to ¥112.40 from ¥112.60 earlier.

The Topix mining subindex finished the early session down 1.5%, while the iron and steel group dropped 1.2%.

Old-economy stocks also lagged in China, where the Shanghai CompositeSHCOMP, -0.60% fell 0.7%. The Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.28%, which has a greater tech profile, was 0.2% lower.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.42% fell 0.3% despite roughly 2% declines for big miners Rio Tinto RIO, -2.32% and BHP Billiton BHP, -1.86%. The country’s big banks rebounded about 0.5% as the local dollar slid to its lowest level of the week following lower-than-expected economic growth for the third quarter.

Broadly speaking, “we are starting to see a little bit of diversification outside of the highly concentrated names” as the year draws to an end, said Paul Kitney, chief equity strategist for Asia Pacific at Daiwa Capital Markets.

He said the recent pullback in some hot areas, notably tech, was healthy and it isn’t a sign that things have changed fundamentally. “The mind-set now is so used to low volatility that a healthy correction of 2% to 3% is making people talk about it.”

But the tech sector isn’t out of the woods. In Tokyo, Apple vendor Alps Electric 6770, -3.45% fell 2%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Taiex index Y9999, -1.41% in Taiwan dropped 1.1% to near three-month lows and Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.79% declined 0.5%.

Some tech companies were lower in Hong Kong, with AAC Technologies Holdings 2018, -6.61%  and Sunny Optical Technology Group 2382, -7.55%  skidding 3% and 7%, respectively.

But Tencent Holdings 0700, -1.06%  was up slightly after a substantial pullback over the past two weeks. And Geely Automobile Holdings 0175, -7.30%  slid 7%. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.25% as recently down 1.4%.

Following tech-driven stock gains this year, investors have become skittish about tax implications from U.S. legislation, said Douglas Morton, head of research for Asia at Northern Trust Capital Markets. But “little has changed fundamentally in our opinion.”

Still, there has been caution this week as Republicans continue work on the tax policy.

Elsewhere, oil futures were down nearly 0.5% in Asia and the U.S. gasoline benchmark fell 1% after an industry group said inventories jumped in America last week.

Source: marketwatch.com

Asia-Pacific equities experienced fresh selling Wednesday following modest overnight declines in Europe and the U.S., as commodity prices added to ongoing softness.

Tech stocks were key to Tuesday’s weakness in Asia and the up-to-3% overnight slide in metals prices added to pressure on Wednesday.

The Nikkei NIK, -1.61%  ended morning trading down 0.9% Wednesday, just off session lows, on weakness in commodity stocks and yen gains. The U.S. dollarJPYUSD, +0.423649%  fell to ¥112.40 from ¥112.60 earlier.

The Topix mining subindex finished the early session down 1.5%, while the iron and steel group dropped 1.2%.

Old-economy stocks also lagged in China, where the Shanghai CompositeSHCOMP, -0.60% fell 0.7%. The Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.28%, which has a greater tech profile, was 0.2% lower.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.42% fell 0.3% despite roughly 2% declines for big miners Rio Tinto RIO, -2.32% and BHP Billiton BHP, -1.86%. The country’s big banks rebounded about 0.5% as the local dollar slid to its lowest level of the week following lower-than-expected economic growth for the third quarter.

Broadly speaking, “we are starting to see a little bit of diversification outside of the highly concentrated names” as the year draws to an end, said Paul Kitney, chief equity strategist for Asia Pacific at Daiwa Capital Markets.

He said the recent pullback in some hot areas, notably tech, was healthy and it isn’t a sign that things have changed fundamentally. “The mind-set now is so used to low volatility that a healthy correction of 2% to 3% is making people talk about it.”

But the tech sector isn’t out of the woods. In Tokyo, Apple vendor Alps Electric 6770, -3.45% fell 2%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Taiex index Y9999, -1.41% in Taiwan dropped 1.1% to near three-month lows and Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.79% declined 0.5%.

Some tech companies were lower in Hong Kong, with AAC Technologies Holdings 2018, -6.61%  and Sunny Optical Technology Group 2382, -7.55%  skidding 3% and 7%, respectively.

But Tencent Holdings 0700, -1.06%  was up slightly after a substantial pullback over the past two weeks. And Geely Automobile Holdings 0175, -7.30%  slid 7%. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.25% as recently down 1.4%.

Following tech-driven stock gains this year, investors have become skittish about tax implications from U.S. legislation, said Douglas Morton, head of research for Asia at Northern Trust Capital Markets. But “little has changed fundamentally in our opinion.”

Still, there has been caution this week as Republicans continue work on the tax policy.

Elsewhere, oil futures were down nearly 0.5% in Asia and the U.S. gasoline benchmark fell 1% after an industry group said inventories jumped in America last week.

Source: marketwatch.com

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