China Data Misses Forecasts, Asia Mostly Lower

Asian equities closed lower on Tuesday following a lackluster session on Wall Street that saw major indexes close just above the flat line. Investors also digested the release of a slew of Chinese economic data points that came in below forecasts.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 docked 0.98 points to 22,380.01, as gains in most tech names balanced losses in trading houses and energy-related stocks. Shares of Sharp and Toshiba closed up 2.9% and 4.7%, respectively.

The Hang Seng Index moved backward 30.06 points, or 0.1%, to 29,152.12

Japanese telco SoftBank said Tuesday it was weighing investing in Uber although no agreements had been made at the present time.

SoftBank told the media that it was interested in the ride-hailing company, but that the final agreement would depend on "tender price and a minimum percentage shareholding for SoftBank." The company's shares closed down 1.5%

Japan's Mizuho Financial Group on Monday said net profit for the quarter ending in September fell 12% to come in at 198.4 billion yen ($1.75 billion U.S.), Reuters reported. Ultra-low interest rates have hurt returns for Japan's banks. Mizuho stock ended the session down 1%, underperforming other Japanese financials.

In Singapore, shares of embattled commodity trader Noble Group sank 6.8% after Co-Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Frase's resignation was accepted by the board on Monday. Shares of the company touched their lowest levels since 1999 during the trading day

Australian markets settled, as declines in resource stocks and financials dragged on the broader market: National Australia Bank closed down 1.4% and Rio Tinto lost 1%. The energy sector was also in the red, with Santos falling 2.2% on the day as oil edged lower. Following news that Shell Energy Holdings Australia sold its 3.5 billion-Australian-dollar ($2.7-billion U.S.) stake in Woodside, shares of the latter closed down 3.2%

Of note, business conditions in Australia rose to a record high in October as profits improved, according to National Australia Bank's monthly survey.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 28.72 points to 4,099.35

Data on Tuesday showed that the country's fixed asset investment growth between January and October slowed to 7.3%, below the 7.4% forecast. Retail sales for October rose 10% compared to one year ago, against the 10.4% projected. Industrial output, for its part, increased 6.2% that month, a touch below the 6.3% forecast.

Elsewhere, Morgan Stanley said the bank would be looking to expanding its stake in its investment bank joint venture on the Chinese mainland to a controlling 51%. The move came after China announced last week it would be easing foreign ownership rules on financial sector joint ventures.

Meanwhile, e-commerce company on Monday announced net earnings of 1 billion yuan ($150.6 million U.S.) in the quarter ending September. That was above the 213 million yuan loss estimated

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index fell 3.71 points, or 0.2%, to 2,526.64

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index regained 3.26 points to 10,687.18

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 20.04 points, or 0.6%, to 3,399.09

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 progressed 31.57 points, or 0.4%, to 8,008

In Australia, the ASX 200 subtracted 53.03 points, or 0.9%, to 5,968.75