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China, Australia Data Influences Asia Markets

Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower on Thursday, following a selloff on Wall Street and as investors assess trade data from China and Australia.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index tumbled 249.94 points, or 0.8%, to 32,991.08, after eight straight days of gains.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 247.91 points, or 1.3%, to 18,202.07.

Korean markets lost ground, marking three straight days of losses.

Australia’s trade surplus for July came in at 8.04 billion Australian dollars ($7 billion), almost a third lower than June’s revised figure of AU$10.27 billion.

This figure was also lower than the AU$10 billion surplus expected by economists polled by Reuters.


The CSI 300 lost 53.56 points, or 1.4%, to 3,758.47.

Chinese imports and exports fell 7.3% and 8.8% year on year, respectively, less than the 9% and 9.2% drops forecast by a poll of economists by Reuters.

Shares of Chinese real estate developer Evergrande continued its rally, climbing as much as 28% on Thursday — although the stock later pared gains to about 6.25% above its last close.

This comes after Evergrande spiked more than 70% on Wednesday, after news that counterpart Country Garden had avoided default on two bond coupon payments.

The rally was also partly fueled by a commentary in the state-owned Securities Times, which called for the lifting of restrictions in China’s property market.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex index retreated 119.02 points, or 0.7%, to 16,619.14.

In Singapore, the Straits Times recovered 3.71 points, or 0.1%, to 3,226.59.

In Korea, the Kospi index slipped 15.08 points, or 0.6%, to 2,548.26.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 0.82 points to 11,426.84.

In Australia, the ASX 200 gave back 86.04 points, or 1.2%, to 7,171.01.