Asian indexes mixed in choppy trading, echoing Wall Street

·2 min read

ASIAN shares were mixed in choppy trading Thursday, April 21, 2022, as inflation worries and the war in Ukraine had investors partly optimistic while staying cautious.

Benchmarks rose in Japan, South Korea and Australia, boosted by the overnight rally in Europe and in the Dow in the US. Investors were also watching South Korean trade numbers for April, which showed a trade deficit, although both imports and exports rose.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was speaking at a forum where Asian leaders talk about policy. Investors are watching to see if Xi will give any hint on changes to China’s coronavirus policies, according to Iris Pang, chief economist at ING.

What central banks may indicate on interest rates and inflation was also of concern, analysts said.

“Market focus will remain on inflation and the Ukraine-Russia situation” ahead of the Thursday IMF panel discussion with US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, said Lavanya Venkateswaran of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.3 percent in morning trading to 27,559.57. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 7,589.60. South Korea’s Kospi surged 0.6 percent to 2,735.37. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.7 percent to 20,801.65, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 percent to 3,134.45.

Wall Street’s major stock indexes ended mixed on a day dominated by the drop in Netflix shares, which lost more than a third of their value after reporting its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and predicting more grim times ahead.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent after a late-afternoon fade, while the Nasdaq fell 1.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, having received a bump from IBM, which added 7.1 percent after reporting quarterly results that beat analysts’ estimates. (AP)

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