Asia Trader

Asian Markets Mixed, Shenzhen Component Plunges 2.572%

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday trade as investors looked ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.

Mainland Chinese stocks led losses among the region’s major markets, with the Shenzhen component plunging 2.572% to close at 14,295.93. The Shanghai composite also shed 1.07% to finish the trading day at 3,518.33. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.68%, as of its final hour of trading.

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Shanghai Composite Index

China’s industrial output rose 8.8% in May as compared with the same period a year ago, official data showed on Wednesday. That missed expectations for a 9% on-year increase and was also lower than the 9.8% rise seen in April.

Chinese retail sales also rose less than expected in May, coming in at a 12.4% increase year-on-year, compared against a forecast of 13.6% increase by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Elsewhere, shares in Japan were mixed on the day: the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.51% to 29,291.01 while the Topix index was little changed at 1,975.86. Japan’s exports in May rose 49.6% from a year earlier, data from the country’s Ministry of Finance showed Wednesday. That was lower than a 51.3% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.62% higher to close at 3,278.68. Australian stocks advanced as the S&P/ASX 200 closed about 0.1% higher at 7,633.20.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.49%.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 4,246.59 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 94.42 points to 34,299.33. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.71% to 14,072.86.

The losses on Wall Street came as investors looked ahead to the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting that started Tuesday. While the central bank is not expected to take any action, traders will watch for comments on inflation and the Fed’s eventual tapering plans.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.492 after following a recent jump above 90.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.98 per dollar, having weakened earlier this week from levels below 109.8 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7697 as it struggles to recover after a slip from the $0.772 level earlier in the week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.51% to $74.37 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.46% to $72.45 per barrel.

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