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Asia report: Markets finish mixed amid positive data from China

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 15 Sep 2020

Asia report: Markets finish mixed amid positive data from China

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia finished mixed on Tuesday, as investors digested fresh retail sales and industrial production data out of China, and pored through the latest minutes from Australia's central bank.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.44% at 23,454.89, as the yen remained stable against the dollar, last trading at JPY 105.73.

Technology giant SoftBank Group was up 0.34%, one day after confirming its intention to sell UK-based chip designer Arm to Nvidia, while among the benchmark's other major components, robotics specialist Fanuc was down 0.19% and Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing lost 0.27%.

The broader Topix index declined 0.62% by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 1,640.84.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was ahead 0.51% at 3,295.68, and the smaller, technology-centric Shenzhen Composite advanced 0.74% to 2,205.36.

Data out of China during the session showed a 0.5% improvement in retail sales year-on-year in August, although sales for the first eight months of 2020 were still 8.6% weaker than at the same time a year ago.

Industrial production, meanwhile, was up 5.6% year-on-year in August, while fixed-asset investment was 0.3% weaker for the first eight months of the year.

SquaredFinancial chief market analyst Rony Nehme also noted that there was an "important" video conference between the EU and China leaders overnight, on progressing China's further opening of its market to foreign investors.

"The negotiations are aimed at removing Chinese barriers for EU investors, including expanding market access in areas reserved for Chinese enterprises, addressing forced technology transfers and levelling the playing field with China's state owned entities."

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.65% at 2,443.58, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong added 0.38% to 24,732.76.

The blue-chip technology stocks were both higher in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 0.99% and SK Hynix rising 2.38%.

Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude last down 0.3% at $39.49 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate off 0.24% at $37.17.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.08% at 5,894.80, as the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes from its September meeting, where it stood pat on its policy.

"The downturn had not been as severe as earlier expected," the central bank's members said in the minutes, adding that "a recovery was underway in most of Australia.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 slipped 0.17% to 11,770.75, as a fresh cyberattack took the exchange's website offline from around 1445 local time, with the service only returning after the end of trading.

It comes weeks after a series of attacks took the entire exchange offline for several days in a row, resulting in a series of truncated sessions earlier in the month.

Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.32% at AUD 1.3676, and the Kiwi advancing 0.28% to NZD 1.4883.


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