Asia Trades Lower, as Investors are Jittery

Asia markets largely declined Wednesday after U.S. indexes pulled back overnight on recession fears.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 58.65 points, or 0.3%, to finish Wednesday at 20,618.57

The Japanese yen traded at 106.54 against the U.S. dollar, weakening from levels below 106 in the previous week.

Automakers mostly declined as shares of Nissan dropped 1.5%, Mazda Motor fell 3.2% while Toyota erased earlier losses to finish flat. Tech conglomerate SoftBank Group slipped 2.9% while banking and financial stocks also traded lower.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index recaptured 38.5 points, or 0.2%, to 26,270.04, while shares of Xiaomi tumbled 5%. The Chinese smartphone maker, which is listed in Hong Kong, reported 15% growth in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, missing estimates as fewer people bought smartphones at home, and as rival Huawei grabbed more market share

Australian markets headed lower. The country’s so-called Big Four banks sold off: ANZ shares were down 1.2%, Commonwealth Bank dropped 0.14%, Westpac was down 1.8% and the National Australia Bank fell 0.7%.

The Australian dollar traded mostly sideways and changed hands at $0.6775.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 subtracted 5.97 points, or 0.2%, to 3,781.76

The onshore Chinese yuan traded at 7.0591 against the dollar after the People’s Bank of China set the daily midpoint rate at 7.0433, slightly stronger than estimates.

The offshore yuan, which is traded outside mainland China and has comparatively fewer restrictions, traded at 7.0643.
In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index advanced 4.4 points, or 0.2%, to 1,964.65

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 3.3 points to 10,525.80

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index skidded 13.38 points, or 0.4%, to 3,122.57

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 erased 94.51 points, or 0.9%, to 10,709.32

In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 61.69 points, or 0.9%, to 6,483.27