Asian stocks edge higher except for Japan as markets watch Chinese protests

TOKYO (AP) – Asian stocks edged higher on Tuesday as market jitters over protests in China eased It came amid growing public anger against the COVID-19 restrictions.

Benchmarks rose in early trade in Australia, South Korea and China, while shares fell in Japan. The price of oil has fallen.

Japanese government data released on Tuesday showed the unemployment rate for October was unchanged from September at 2.6%. Separately, data released by another ministry showed a slight increase in the number of available jobs per job seeker – 1.35. The increase has been going on for 10 months.

It was hired with the expectation that tourists would return to Japan in droves. Borders that were largely closed during the coronavirus pandemic have reopened as the yen’s depreciation against the US dollar and other currencies has made Japan an attractive destination for tourists.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% to 28,016.27 in early trade. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up about 0.1% at 7,233.50. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3% to 2,415.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.8% to 17,612.65, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to 3,096.54.

Although market sentiment was dampened by recent demonstrations in China, some analysts noted that calm could return in the coming sessions. The world’s second-largest economy has been mired in a “zero COVID” policy that includes lockdowns that threaten global supply chains.

“The lack of any clear escalation in the protests could help bring some calm to the markets,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG.

Chief investment strategist Sam Stovall said the unrest has fueled concern on Wall Street that if Chinese leader Xi Jinping cracks down on dissent there or expands quarantines, it could slow China’s economy, hurting oil prices and global economic growth. can give CFRA.

“A lot of people are worried about what’s going to happen, and they’re basically using it as an excuse to make a profit,” he said.

More than 90% of stocks in the S&P 500 closed in the red, with technology companies taking the biggest weight in the broader market. Apple, hit hard by the suspension of iPhone production in China, fell 2.6%.

Banks and industrial stocks were also among the biggest drags on the market. JPMorgan fell 1.7%, and Boeing fell 3.7%.

Several casino operators gained ground as Chinese gambling haven Macau tentatively renewed their licenses.. Las Vegas Sands rose 1.1%, and Wynn Resorts rose 4.4%.

The consequences of the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX continued. Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global fell by 4%, and the price of bitcoin fell by 2.1%.

The S&P 500 index fell 62.18 points, or 1.5%, to 3,963.94. Dow index decreased by 497.57 points or 1.4% to 33,849.46 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 176.86 points, or 1.6%, to close at 11,049.50.

Wall Street is starting a holiday-shortened week relatively light on corporate news and economic data. It’s a busy week ahead as investors continue to monitor the hottest inflation in decades and its impact on consumers, businesses and monetary policy.

Concern remains high about the Federal Reserve’s ability to tame inflation by raising interest rates. without going too far and causing a recession. The central bank’s benchmark rate is currently in the range of 3.75% to 4%, close to zero in March. It warned that it may eventually have to raise rates to previously unanticipated levels to curb high prices on everything from food to clothing.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday about the outlook for the US economy and the labor market.

The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence index for November on Tuesday. This could shed more light on how consumers fare between high prices and how they plan to spend during the holiday shopping season and into 2023.

The government will release several labor market reports this week that could give Wall Street more insight into one of the economy’s strongest sectors. The jobs and labor turnover report for October will be released on Wednesday, followed by the weekly jobless claims report on Thursday. The closely watched monthly labor market report will be released on Friday.

In the energy trade, the price of US crude oil decreased by 17 cents to 77.07 dollars/barrel. Brent oil, the international standard, dropped 5 cents to $83.14 per barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell from 138.90 yen to 138.77 yen. The euro rose from $1.0344 to $1.0358.


AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed to this report.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at

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