Asian Stocks Mixed as Investors Digest China Latest Activity Data

Asian stock markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed China’s new economic outlook and the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.

As of 9.25 A.M. (Thai time), the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.33%. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.23%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was about flat as the nation’s economy unexpectedly contracted in the third quarter, official data showed.

Japan’s economy had its first quarterly decline since last year in the third quarter ended September, as import prices rose due to a weakening yen, according to data released by the Cabinet Office on Tuesday. Gross domestic product contracted at an annualized pace of 1.2% in the third quarter.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.43%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.97%.

The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported on Tuesday that three economic indicators for China in October fell short of expectations and showed a decline from September.

In October, industrial production increased by 5% while retail sales dropped by 0.5% year-over-year.

The Reuters poll projected that annual growth in retail sales would drop to 1% in October, while growth in industrial production was predicted to decrease to 5.2%.

China and Hong Kong stocks rallied on the expectation that these latest figures could spark further easing of Covid restrictions.

Following a volatile trading day, major U.S. stock indexes ended the night lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 211.16 points, or 0.6%, to 33,536.70. The S&P 500 dropped 0.89%, closing at 3,957.25, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.12%, closing at 11,196.22 on the day.