Stocks across Asia were mostly lower on Tuesday, shrugging off overnight gains in the United States. European shares also opened lower, with the Euro Stoxx 50 dipping 1%, Germany’s DAX falling 0.8% and France’s CAC losing more than 0.6% in morning trade.
Concerns over Asia’s growth prospects following China’s downbeat economic data for July affected shares in the region. Weak economic data coming out of Japan also affected trading in the region’s stocks.
Japan reported that its economic growth almost stalled in the second quarter with only a growth of 0.2% being attained. That was slower than 2% growth in the first quarter by an order of magnitude. Economic growth continued to drag in Japan despite the government’s efforts to step up stimulus measures.
How Asian stocks performed
In Japan, falling stocks in the country’s Insurance, Real Estate and Transportation Equipment sectors dragged down the Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225), which fell 1.62%.
A stronger yen also dimmed appetite for Tokyo stocks among foreign investors. USDJPY dipped 1.05% to 100.19, while EURJPY declined 0.51% to 112.67. The strengthening yen complicates the picture for the Bank of Japan whose easing measures, which have included lending rate cuts and currency devaluation, appear to be achieving little.
In Taiwan, falling stocks in the country’s Electricity and Semiconductor sectors pulled back the Taiwan Weighted, which fell 0.42%.
In South Korea, KOSPI retreated 0.13%.
Trading in China stocks mixed
But trading in Chinese stocks was a bit mixed. While the larger Shanghai Composite eased 0.49% at close, the smaller HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) in Hong Kong gained, barely, by 0.04%.
Stocks in Hong Kong appeared to rally on hopes of the opening of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong trading link. The media in Hong Kong announced that the opening date for the trading link could be announced this week with an official launch coming before the end of this year.
Australia stocks dip
Stocks in Australia closed lower, with the S&P/ASX 200 declining 0.12%. The index was led lower by falling stocks in the country’s Utilities, Telecoms Services and Consumer Discretionary sectors.