Asia report: Markets mixed as China trade data goes both ways
Markets were mixed in Asia on Wednesday, with equities in mainland China marching ahead after the release of the latest trade data.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.32% at 28,140.28, as the yen strengthened 0.03% against the dollar to JPY 113.58.
Fashion firm Fast Retailing was up 0.6%, while among the benchmark’s other major components, automation specialist Fanuc was down 0.44% and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group was off 1.07%.
The broader Topix index lost 0.45% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,973.83.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.42% at 3,561.76, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite added 1.29% to 2,394.39.
According to the latest data from the General Administration of Customs, imports were 17.6% higher year-on-year in September, falling short of the 20% growth pencilled in by economists polled by Reuters.
Exports, meanwhile, were well ahead of what the market was picking, rising 28.1% year-on-year, against the 21% anticipated by Reuters polling.
The positive mood came despite reports that Beijing was continuing its regulatory crackdown, with plans to expand its investigatory prowess.
“It appears that Chinese regulators have no plans to ease the regulatory crackdowns that have caused turmoil in Chinese markets over the last year,” said AvaTrade chief market analyst Naeem Aslam.
“According to reports, Beijing's competition watchdog is creating more departments and planning to hire more people in an effort to efficiently monitor monopoly investigations.”
South Korea’s Kospi was ahead 0.96% at 2,944.41, while trading in Hong Kong was suspended for the entire session as the city was under a typhoon warning.
The blue-chip technology stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 0.29%, while SK Hynix rose 0.55%.
Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude last down 0.46% at $83.04 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate losing 0.42% to $80.30.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.11% at 7,272.50, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 gained 0.22% to 13,025.18.
The down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.03% at AUD 1.3603, and the Kiwi advancing 0.32% to NZD 1.4383.