Asian Shares Mixed On Chinese Data

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday after Chinese economic data came in weaker than expected. Focus shifted to the U.S. debt ceiling, as U.S. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders are due to resume talks at the White House later in the day.

The dollar index pulled back and gold prices slipped, while oil traded sideways after rising sharply in the U.S. trading session overnight.

Chinese shares ended lower as the latest readings on industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment missed expectations, adding to signs the recovery in the world’s second largest economy might be faltering.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.6 percent to 3,290.99, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended marginally higher at 19,978.25 on Chinese stimulus hopes.

Japanese shares rose notably on the back of recent favorable earnings results from domestic firms.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.7 percent to 29,842.99, touching its highest level since September 2021. The broader Topix settled 0.6 percent higher at 2,127.18, marking its highest level in around 33 years.

Tech shares followed their U.S. peers higher, with Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings rallying 3-5 percent. Japan Post Holdings slumped 6.9 percent after posting disappointing earnings for fiscal 2022.

Seoul stocks pared early gains to finish marginally higher as data showed the country’s export and import prices rose for a third consecutive month in April.

Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 1.4 percent and SK Hynix climbed 4.6 percent. LG Chem gained 0.6 percent after announcing it plans to increase sales of battery materials by six-fold by 2030.

Australian stocks fell after minutes of the RBA’s May meeting revealed the central bank is still wary on persistent inflation.

Also weighing on sentiment, a private survey showed Australian consumer sentiment saw its sharpest drop in nearly three years in early-May after a surprise interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 7,234.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.5 percent lower at 7,424.10.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index finished marginally higher at 11,945.87, recovering from an early slide.

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher overnight as reports of progress on debt ceiling talks outweighed data showing a substantial downturn in New York manufacturing activity in May.

Both President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed optimism about an eventual agreement on raising the U.S. debt.

The Dow inched up 0.1 percent to snap a five-session losing streak and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.7 percent to reach its best closing level in well over eight months, while the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent.

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