Asian Markets

Asian Markets Edge Higher as Investors React to China’s Trade Data for September

Asian Pacific stocks closed higher as shares in mainland China edged higher on Wednesday as investors reacted to the release of Chinese trade data for September.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.42% to 3,561.76 while the Shenzhen component rose 1.54% to 14,353.08.

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Shanghai Composite Performance Chart

China’s imports rose 17.6% from a year earlier in September, customs data showed Wednesday, missing expectations for a 20% expansion in a Reuters poll. Exports in September rose 28.1% from a year earlier in September, the data showed, exceeding forecasts by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 21% year-on-year rise.

Trading in Hong Kong was cancelled all day on Wednesday because of a typhoon warning alert, the Hong Kong exchange said in a release at noon.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.32% to close at 28,140.28 while the Topix index dipped 0.45% to finish the trading day at 1,973.83.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.96% to close at 2,944.41. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.11% lower at 7,272.50 while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.26%.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 117.72 points to 34,378.34 while the S&P 500 declined 0.24% to 4,350.65. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.14% to around 14,465.93.

Those losses on Wall Street came after the International Monetary Fund slashed its global growth forecast for 2021, citing supply disruptions and the pandemic

Asian Markets Oil and Currencies

Oil prices were slightly lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, although they still remained elevated above $80 per barrel.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were fractionally lower at $83.37 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined around 0.1% to $80.58 per barrel.

China on Tuesday announced plans to liberalize coal-fired power pricing, Reuters reported, as the country faces an energy crisis.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.41 after bouncing from levels below 94.2 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.57 per dollar, stronger than levels around 113.6 seen earlier against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.734, off levels around $0.738 seen yesterday.

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