Asia Mixed as Chinese Stocks Stumble

Asian shares closed mixed on Monday as investors digested quarterly results from regional corporates. Meanwhile, political developments in Spain continued to weigh on the euro.

The Nikkei 225 index inched up 3.22 points to close Monday at 22,011.67.

The Hang Seng Index slid 102.66 points, or 0.4%, to 28,336.19, following a strong earnings report from HSBC, which announced Monday that its third-quarter pre-tax profit leaped 448% compared to a year ago. The bank's pre-tax profit for the period stood at $4.62 billion U.S., compared to the $843-million seen last year. Shares of the bank were traded higher by 0.9%.

Tech shares in Japan were mixed: Sharp rose 0.8% but Yahoo Japan closed down 4.7%

Kobe Steel, currently embroiled in a data falsification scandal, said Monday it would be withdrawing its full-year net income estimate. The steelmaker also said it would be forgoing an interim dividend for the first half of the year. Shares of the company closed up 2.2%

Japan's Komatsu on Friday raised its projected full-year profit estimate to 216 billion yen ($1.9 billion U.S.) — compared to its earlier forecast of 156 billion yen. The construction equipment company said sales in China and Indonesia had surpassed forecasts. Komatsu shares closed up 3.5% after earlier touching a 10-year high in the session.

Japan retail sales for September increased 2.2% compared with one year ago, government data showed. That came in a touch below the 2.5% median forecast. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan began its two-day meeting on Monday.

SK Hynix closed up 1.8% and petroleum refinery company S-Oil rose 0.4%. Shares of Samsung Electronics climbed 1.8% ahead of the company's expected Tuesday earnings release in which it is forecast to announce record quarterly profit.

Early market movers also included a steep fall in the shares of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering which had just resumed trade on Monday following a lengthy suspension. Daewoo stock closed down 13.4% after plunging more than 25% in early trade.

Australian indices had closed lower in the last session after the coalition government lost its parliamentary majority after Australia's deputy prime minister was disqualified due to his dual citizenship status.

Energy plays closed higher in the session as oil prices held onto Friday's gains: Santos jumped 3.7% and Woodside closed up 1.3%.
Shares of Apple manufacturers in the region also got a boost following news that pre-orders for the tech giant's new iPhone X have been robust. Taiwan's Largan Precision and Hon Hai Precision Industry closed up 3.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Chinese automaker BYD said on Sunday that the company's profit was likely to decline by up to a fifth. Competition is expected to increase in the electric and hybrid segment in which the company has heavily invested. BYD shares traded in Hong Kong were down 3%. Other automakers traded in Hong Kong also trended lower.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 12.25 points, or 0.3%, to 4,009.72. Experts variously blamed the fall on a slide in the Chinese bond market as well as consolidation on the part of stock traders.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index gained 5.3 points, or 0.2%, to 2,501.93

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index was up 47.76 points, or 0.5%, to 10,756.87

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index faded 10.47 points, or 0.3%, to 3,375.97

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 recovered 58.99 points, or 0.7%, to 8,143.98

In Australia, the ASX 200 strengthened 15.92 points, or 0.3%, to 5,919.08