Asian Stocks Fall Even as Australia Heads Toward Year’s High

  • Japan shares continued decline before BOJ stood pat Tuesday
  • Hang Seng testing at key support level at 21,800: CMC Markets

What Does BOJ's Decision Say About Japan's Economy?

Most Asian shares fell on Tuesday, led by Japanese and Chinese markets, even as benchmarks in Australia, South Korea and Singapore bucked the trend.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index slid 0.3 percent to 135.57 as of 10:57 a.m. Hong Kong time, dragged down by Japanese shares. The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged Tuesday, as forecast by all 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Australia’s benchmark index jumped for a second day after the Reserve Bank’s minutes of its December meeting showed policy makers balanced “considerable uncertainty” in labor market momentum and resurgent Sydney and Melbourne property prices in its decision to leave interest rates unchanged. Nine of 11 industry groups gained, led by utilities and financial stocks.

Summary

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index holds three-day decline; Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.5%, extending losses to fifth day; China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index -0.7%
    • The Hang Seng is testing a "key support level at 21,800," Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets based in Singapore writes in note, citing emerging-market outflows as the dollar strengthened to a decade high and weakening yuan spurred outflows from China market
    • "Breaking below this level will open the floor to further downside, pointing to 21,360."
  • Other markets: South Korea’s Kospi +0.3%, Singapore’s Straits Times index up 0.2%, New Zealand’s benchmark gauge +0.4%

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