Asia Slips, Led by China

Stocks in Asia were broadly lower on Thursday, as a U.S. Federal Reserve report hinted at more rate hikes ahead.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gave up 182.96 points, or 0.8%, to 22,658.16

Earlier on Thursday, data showed that Japan's exports fell in September for the first time since 2016 as shipments to the United States and China declined, adding to concerns about the broadening impact of an escalating Sino-U.S. trade war.

The Japanese yen was at 112.63 against the U.S. dollar, after weakening overnight from around the 112 mark.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index docked 7.71 points t0 25,454.55

In Korea, markets fell, with shares of chipmaker SK Hynix dropping by 2.4%. The country's central bank had earlier opted to keep monetary policy steady.

In Australia, markets crept upward. The heavily weighted financials sub-index was 0.5% higher, while the energy sector recovered partially from its earlier losses but still saw a decline of 0.2% and materials fell by 0.7%.

Jobs data in Australia showed employment numbers for the month of September falling short of expectations from a poll. The unemployment rate declined by 0.3% from the previous month to 5%.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7126 U.S, following a slide from above $0.715 in the previous session.


The CSI 300 lost 73.86 points, or 2.4%, to 3,044.39, with shares of Chinese oil giant PetroChina plunged almost 8%.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a report released on Wednesday that it found no major trading partner met the criteria to be designated as intentionally manipulating its currency. But it kept China on a watch list along with Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Korea and India.

The onshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.9361 against the U.S. dollar in the afternoon, after earlier weakening to 6.9371 — the weakest level since Jan. 9 2017. Its offshore counterpart also weakened to 6.9370, after the People's Bank of China set the day's midpoint at 6.9275.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times STI index ditched 1.43 points, or 0.1%, to 3,069.67

In Taiwan, the Taiex index dropped 25.41 points, or 0.3%, to 9,953.73

In Korea, the Kospi index subtracted 19.2 points, or 0.9%, at 2,148.31

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 deleted 1.21 points to 8,910.59

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched forward 3.32 points, or 0.1%, to 5,942.41