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Market Update

Asian Markets Mostly Down After Choppy Session

Most Asian markets turned choppy, pushing in and out of positive territory Wednesday as concerns about U.S. debt ceiling and lingering worries about the Fed's monetary stance undermined investor confidence.

Investors were worried U.S. lawmakers would fail to strike a budgetary deal to ward off a potential federal government shutdown next week.

On Tuesday, Moody's Investor Service warned failure to raise the country's debt limit would result in "more negative outcome for financial markets and the economy than a government shutdown".

Meanwhile, Fed taper talks also continued to play at the back of investors' minds.

At the end of a volatile session, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% while the Hang Seng edged up 0.1%. The Sensex closed 0.4% lower.

Tokyo's Nikkei slipped 0.8% amid a stronger yen, as investors preferred the relative safety of the Japanese currency in these times of uncertainty.

Sydney's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries, meanwhile, made steady progress unlike others in the region, on account of gains in the resources and banking sectors.

Stocks on the Move

Exporters in Tokyo extended their losses with Sharp Corp down over 3% while Komatsu Ltd. erased 2.6%.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. slipped 0.7% despite declaring higher interim dividend.

Among the rare gainers, Tokyo Electron Ltd. soared 13.2% amid news Applied Materials Inc. is set to buy the company in an all-stock deal valued at more than $7billion.

Tokyo Electric Power gained 0.4% amid reports Russian state-owned company might assist the power utility to resolve problems being faced at the defunct Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In Hong Kong, some airline stocks and property developers were in the green earlier in the session but gave up the gains by end.

China Eastern Airlines fell over 3% while Air China lost 0.7%.

Among developers, China Resources Land Ltd. erased 2.2% but Sino Land Company added 1.2%.

Resources and financials stocks too ended mixed.

In Mumbai, top losers included Reliance Industries (-2.9%), HDFC Bank (-2.8%), Mahindra & Mahindra (-2.6%) and Hindustan Unilever (-1.5%), as investors pulled out of equities following negative overseas cues ahead of the equity derivates expiry tomorrow.

As against its regional counterparts, Sydney's benchmark index outperformed, logging modest gains in a steady session.

Top gainers included miners -- Fortescue Metals Group bounced 3% while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained around 0.5% each.

Major banks NAB and ANZ climbed over 1.7% each while Westpac tacked on around a percent.

Adding to the gains, oil firms Santos and Woodside Petroleum improved 1.5% and 0.7% respectively. Linc Energy jumped 9.2%.