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Asian shares mixed, US markets down

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei , South Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 were in negative territory and the US markets too were trading negatively

Asian shares mixed, US markets down

Asian shares mixed, US markets down

New York: Shares are mixed in Asia, where Chinese markets advanced after a government investment fund said it would step up stock purchases. But the gains in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong were much smaller than recent losses. Oil prices rose and US futures were mixed. China’s Central Huijin Investment, a sovereign fund that owns China’s state-run banks and other big government controlled enterprises, promised to expand its purchases of stock index funds to help markets that have been sagging under heavy selling pressure from a property crisis and slowing economy. The fund periodically steps up buying of shares in big state-owned banks and other companies to counter heavy selling pressure in the Chinese markets.

On Monday, benchmarks in Shanghai and the smaller market in Shenzhen bounced between small gains and big losses, while share prices of state-run banks and other big companies rose. By midday Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 3.3 per cent at 16,026.94 in rally led by technology shares such as e-commerce giant Alibaba, which gained 7.4 per cent and, which was up 6.3 per cent. The Shanghai Composite index was up 2.5 per cent at 2,770.83. Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 per cent to 36,244.27 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.7 per cent, to 2,570.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.6 per cent to 7,578.90. In Bangkok, the SET gained 1 per cent, while India’s Sensex edged 0.2 per cent higher. On Monday, stocks slipped on Wall Street as data showed the economy remains strong, which could delay interest rate cuts investors are counting on. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to 4,942.81 from the all-time high set Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7 per cent to 38,380.12, and the Nasdaq composite edged down by 0.2 per cent, to 15,597.68.

Earnings season is near its midpoint, and roughly half the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their latest results, including many of the market’s most influential. Estee Lauder jumped 12 per cent after it reported better revenue and profit than analysts expected. McDonald’s, meanwhile, fell 3.7 per cent despite reporting stronger profit than expected. Its revenue for the latest quarter fell just short of forecasts.

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