Asia-Pacific stocks were largely lower on Thursday, with Chinese stocks leading losses regionally.
By the mainland market close on Thursday, the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.34% to 3,607.09 while the Shenzhen component plunged 1.954% to 14,258.13.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.46% to close at 24,667.85, with most casino stocks listed in the city seeing a second straight day of sharp losses.
Shares of Wynn Macau in Hong Kong dropped 4.69%, Sands China fell 7.96% and Melco International Development slipped 0.76%. Those moves followed a Wednesday plunge for casino stocks as Macao kicked off a public gaming consultation.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.62% to close at 30,323.34 while the Topix index fell 0.3% to end the trading day at 2,090.16. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.74% lower at 3,130.09.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.58% on the day to 7,460.20.
Australia’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis in August, data released Thursday showed, lower than the 4.9% forecast in a Reuters poll. Still, the Australian Bureau of Statistics attributed the decline to a “large fall in participation during the recent lockdowns” rather than strengthening labour market conditions.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.7%.
Asian Markets Currencies and Oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.659 as it struggles to recover after declining from above 92.8 earlier in the week.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.35 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7321, still off levels above $0.735 that was seen earlier this week.
Oil prices were lower in Asia’s afternoon trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.11% to $75.38 per barrel and U.S. crude futures declined 0.12% to $72.52 per barrel.