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Asians Equities Slump as Oil Eased on Supply Worries

By Investors Hub

Most Asian stocks fell on Wednesday as bond yields tumbled, metals prices plunged sharply, oil eased on supply worries and the Japanese yen gained ground on Middle East concerns as well as worries over a possible U.S. government shutdown.

Chinese stocks fell after a senior researcher at the People’s Bank of China urged central banks to tighten monetary policies. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 9.55 points or 0.3 percent to 3,293.13, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 618.00 points or 2.1 percent to 28,224.80.

Japanese shares fell sharply as geopolitical worries and concerns over a potential government shutdown in the U.S. fueled demand for safe-haven assets.

The Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 445.34 points or 2 percent to 22,177.04, marking its biggest fall in 8 1/2 months. The broader Topix index closed 1.4 percent lower at 1,765.42. Nisshin Steel, Fujikura, Fast Retailing and Toho Zinc fell around 5 percent each.

Australian shares retreated, with a pullback in commodity prices and weaker-than-expected GDP data weighing on the markets. GDP growth for the third quarter came in at 0.6 percent, slightly below forecasts for 0.7 percent growth and down from the 0.9 percent seen in the previous quarter.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index finished down 26.11 points or 0.4 percent at 5,945.71 to extend losses for a third straight session. The broader All Ordinaries Index dropped 0.5 percent to 6,029.90.

Falling copper, iron ore and gold prices pulled down miners, with Newcrest, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and South32 falling 2-4 percent. Banks ANZ, NAB and Westpac finished modestly higher, a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates on hold at a record low.

Incitec Pivot lost 1.8 percent after the fertilizer and explosives maker warned that its 2020 and 2021 full-year profits will be hit by the end of a contract to supply ammonium nitrate prill to mining giant BHP Billiton.

Meanwhile, TPG Telecom advanced 1.3 percent after its chairman said the company’s mobile and fixed-line projects will benefit shareholders over the long term.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN’s Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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