TOKYO – Asian stock markets rose Tuesday as investors reassured by strong Chinese trade shrugged off Wall Street worries that slowing growth in Europe and Asia could hobble the global recovery.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.8 per cent to 15,028.04 after Tokyo was closed for a holiday Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.7 per cent to 23,294.66. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent to 1,932.06 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.0 per cent to 5,205. Markets in Southeast Asia also rose. China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 per cent to 2,374.39.
THE QUOTE: “While sentiment was subdued in the US with losses accelerating towards the end of the session, it seems investors aren’t completely convinced there was enough ‘bad news’ to warrant the sharp sell-off,” said Stan Shamu, strategist at IG in a market commentary. “The losses were mainly blamed on airline stock weakness after an Ebola scare and a drop in Brent Crude prices hurt energy plays.”
JAPAN JITTERS: Concern over the global outlook, coupled with a stronger Japanese yen, which could dent the competitiveness of exporters, cast a pall over Tuesday’s session. Shares of major exporters fell, with Toyota Motor Corp. down 1.3 per cent and Panasonic dropping 2.6 per cent.
US ROUT: Shares in the U.S. fell Monday over concerns that growth in Europe and Asia may be slowing, following the worst trading week in more than two years. All told, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 223.03, or 1.4 per cent, to 16,321.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 shed 1.7 per cent to 1,874.74.
CHINA TRADE: Chinese trade figures released Monday were at odds with generally gloomy views about the global economy. The data showed exports and imports growing faster than in expected in September, leading some analysts to predict increased momentum for the world’s second-largest economy during the second half of the year.
CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar was trading at 107.17 yen, up from 107.00 late Monday. The euro fell to $1.2724 from $1.2740.
ENERGY MARKETS: Oil prices fell on expectations that OPEC countries will not cut output in response to lower global demand. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 67 cents to $85.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 8 cents to close at $85.74 a barrel on Monday.