Asian Shares Retreat On Growth Worries

Asian stocks ended Thursday’s session mostly lower as Japanese export growth slowed in October and Chinese new home prices fell for the fourth straight month, rekindling worries about slowing global growth.

Meanwhile, a much-anticipated meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping ended with both countries agreeing to resume military-to-military communications and cooperate on anti-drug policies.

The dollar index held ground in Asian trading ahead of another batch of U.S. economic data due later in the day that could provide additional clues on the health of the world’s largest economy.

Gold traded higher, while oil extended losses from the previous session on signs of increased supply from the United States.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,050.93 as investors fretted about prolonged weakness in the country’s property sector and its likely impact on the country’s overall recovery.

Official data revealed today that China home prices fell the most in eight years in October due to weak demand.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 1.4 percent to 17,832.82 as Xpeng led electric vehicle stocks lower after reporting disappointing earnings.

Japanese markets ended modestly lower after data showed the economy shrank far more than expected in the third quarter and export growth slowed in October due to slumping China-bound shipments of chips and steel.

On the positive side, Japanese core machinery orders rose 1.4 percent in September from the previous month, beating forecasts for 0.9 percent growth.

The Nikkei 225 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 33,424.41, snapping a three-day winning streak after a rebound in U.S. Treasury yields. The broader Topix Index settled 0.2 percent lower at 2,368.62.

Technology stocks ended mixed, with Advantest falling 1.8 percent and Soft Bank Group adding 1.5 percent.

Recruit Holdings soared 9.4 percent after ValueAct Capital Management bought a stake in the parent of job-search site Indeed.

Seoul stocks ended little changed, with the Kospi closing up 0.1 percent at 2,488.18 after reports authorities plan to loosen stock short-selling rules for retail investors while tightening rules for institutional and foreign investors.

Australian markets fell as signs of increasing inflationary pressures overshadowed strong employment data for October. Official data showed net employment rose by 55,000 jobs in October from the previous month.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index slid 7 percent to 7,058.40 after sharp gains in the previous session. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 0.7 percent at 7,269.50, with energy, tech and healthcare stocks pacing declines.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index tumbled 1.1 percent to 11,230.87.

U.S. stocks eked out modest gains overnight, with dovish Fed bets and an upbeat forecast from retailer Target helping underpin sentiment.

A measure of producer prices unexpectedly fell in October and retail sales dipped for the first time in seven months, offering more evidence of easing price pressures and slowing consumer spending ahead of the holiday season.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up marginally to reach a three-month closing high and the S&P 500 edged up 0.2 percent, while the Dow rose half a percent.

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