Asia Mostly Lower, China Releases Mfg. Figures

Asia-Pacific shares traded mostly down on Tuesday as investors digested a range of economic data and a potential interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index sagged 106.29 points, or 0.4%, to 27,327.11, as Japan reported an unemployment rate of 2.5% for December, in line with expectations.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index tumbled 227.4 points, or 1%, to 21,842.33.

Korean markets dipped after South Korea logged a 7.3% drop for December’s year-on-year industrial output, steeper than Reuters’ expectations of a 5.1% fall.


The Shanghai CSI 300 lost 44.49 points, or 1.1%, to 4,156.86.

China’s official manufacturing PMI reported a reading of 50.1, above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction.

The International Monetary Fund hiked its global growth projection to 2.9% for 2023 due to better-than-expected domestic factors in several countries, such as the United States and China’s reopening.

China’s reopening of its economy after strict COVID lockdown is expected to contribute to higher global growth.

However, the IMF cautioned that China’s reopening could also still stall which may dampen the outlook.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi faded 25.39 points, or 1%, to 2,425.08.

In Singapore, the Straits Times lost 12.62 points, or 0.4%, to 3,365.67.

In Taiwan, the Taiex dumped 228.62 points, or 1.5%, to 15,265.20.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 66.45 points, or 0.6%, to 11,967.72.

In Australia, the ASX 200 dipped 4.99 points, or 0.1%, to 7,476.66.