On Wednesday, Asia-Pacific trading was mixed, but Chinese stocks were leading gains, after the release of Chinese economic data that turned out to be better than expectations.
Stock Indexes Rise
There was a 0.5% increase in the Shanghai Composite, which brought it to 3,305.41. There was also a 0.948% increase in the Shenzhen Component, which reached 12,137.76. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed by 1.14%, which brought it to a value of 21,308.21, thanks to a 4.35% jump in the shares of Alibaba.
However, there was a 1.5% decline Prada shares in Wednesday trading in Hong Kong because a survey from Oliver Wyman showed that luxury brands had cut down their expectations for their business in China this year because of the continued COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.
Official data showed that there was a 0.7% increase in China’s industrial output in May, as compared to a year ago. Moreover, this was also a rise from the 2.9% decline that had been recorded in April. Analysts had been prepared for a 0.7% drop in the output, so it came as a surprise.
Meanwhile, there was also a 6.7% fall in the retail sales for the month of May, which was still better than the expected fall of 7.1% that had been expected. Analysts said that the data shows that they could have been too pessimistic about growth in China, as the industrial growth data had come off as a big surprise.
Analysts had been expected a fall of 1.1%, so a positive number is definitely a plus and shows that COVID may not have disrupted the production aspect of the Chinese economy and continues to stay strong, as opposed to the manufacturing aspect.
Declines in Other Markets
As far as other Asia-Pacific markets are concerned, there was a 1.14% drop in the Nikkei 225 in Japan, which brought it to 26,326.16. Likewise, there was also a 1.2% fall in the Topix index, as it came down to 1,855.93. The Kospi index in South Korea lost about 1.83%, which brought it to 2,447.38.
There was a 1.27% decline in the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia, which brought it to a close of 6,601. The broadest index of the MSCI of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan reported a fall of 0.1%.
As for the US, investors are now focused on the policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, with an announcement of a hike in interest rates expected today. Traders have priced in a hike of 75 basis points, which would be the biggest increase in the interest rate since 1994.
Bets of another 75 basis points are also being made and economists said that it seems 75 will be the new 50 now. Markets will be in for disappointment if the Fed decides to hike rates by only 50 basis points in this meeting, as the central bank has remained rather aggressive when it comes to battling inflation. Asian trading hours saw oil prices rise, with a 0.16% increase recorded in Brent crude futures.