(Sharecast News) – Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended Wednesday on mixed notes, as investors across the globe focused on the ongoing earnings season on Wall Street, which was so far exceeding market expectations.
Patrick Munnelly, market analyst at TickMill, said the mixed performance of equity markets in the region came amid ongoing economic concerns in China, which partially offset positive sentiment from strong bank earnings in the US and dovish commentary from the European Central Bank.
“The Nikkei 225 outperformed, rising by 0.8% following comments from Bank of Japan governor Ueda, suggesting that a policy tweak is unlikely at the upcoming monetary policy meeting,” he explained.
“However, the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite were lower, impacted by losses in the tech sector and a non-committal tone in the mainland amid ongoing economic challenges and recent support measures.”
Japan, Australasia among the region’s risers
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.24% to close at 32,896.03, while the Topix index also enjoyed a lift of 1.19% to end at 2,278.97.
Nissan Motor led the gains on Tokyo’s benchmark, jumping 7.68%, followed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha with an increase of 6.27%, as Mazda Motor also ended in the green, gaining 5.6%.
On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite showed a minimal gain of 0.03% to close at 3,198.84, while the Shenzhen Component fell by 0.37% to 10,932.65.
Amid the mixed market, China Publishing Media skyrocketed 7.59%, while Beijing Piesat Information Technology grew 5.69%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dropped by 0.33% to 18,952.31, as Xinyi Solar saw its shares fall by 3.79%, followed by China Life Insurance and China Resources Power, which lost 2.84% and 2.58% respectively.
South Korea’s Kospi just barely climbed into the positive territory, with a slight increase of 0.02% to close at 2,608.24.
Among its gainers, SK Biopharma saw a sharp increase of 8.22%, while Posco Future M gained 4.8%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.55% to 7,323.70, led by Coronado Global Resources, which saw an increase of 5.5%, and Ampol, which climbed by 4.36%.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index had a minor increase of 0.1% to finish at 11,944.54.
Vista Group led the gains, increasing by 3.28%, while Pacific Edge saw its shares increase by 2.5%.
In currency markets, the dollar was last up 0.65% on the yen to trade at JPY 139.73, while it advanced 0.67% against the Aussie to AUD 1.4779, and jumped 0.49% on the Kiwi to change hands at NZD 1.6019.
On the energy front, Brent crude futures were last up 0.73% on ICE at $80.21 a barrel, while the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate rose 0.49% to $76.12.
Japanese manufacturer confidence dips; New Zealand’s inflation rate decelerates
In economic news, the latest Reuters Tankan survey out of Japan showed a dip in optimism among large manufacturers for the first time in six months, indicating a potential slowdown in one of the world’s largest economies.
The business sentiment index among those firms slipped from +8 in June to +3 in July.
Additionally, the non-manufacturers index saw a second consecutive monthly decline, dropping a single point to +23.
In the South Pacific, New Zealand’s inflation rate showed signs of slowing down in fresh official data.
The country’s consumer price index (CPI) showed a year-on-year growth of 6%, marking the second consecutive quarter of decelerating inflation.
It came after previous year-on-year growth of 6.7% in the first quarter of the year, and a higher 7.2% recorded in the last three months of 2022.
Meanwhile, the CPI rose 1.1% on a quarterly basis – a slight dip from the 1.2% growth registered in the preceding period.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.