Asian Stocks Mixed as Investors Weigh Growth, Rates Outlook

  • Gauge of financial stocks worst performer on regional index
  • China Evergrande climbs as Credit Suisse raises price target

Asian equities were little changed, with gains in emerging markets offsetting declines in developed countries as investors weighed the outlook for global growth and higher interest rates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 155.25, close to a two-year high, as of 4:46 p.m. in Hong Kong. Financials were the worst performing group on the measure, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia posting one of the steepest declines.

China Evergrande Group surged 11 percent, helping drive a gauge of regional property stocks to a record high after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its target price for the developer by 65 percent. Oil gained after a Saudi-led alliance cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Friday’s U.S. employment data, seen as a signal for predicting the pace of interest-rate increases, were weaker than expected. Separately, the World Bank affirmed its global growth forecast, although it warned “policy uncertainty is likely to remain high” through 2017.

“The U.S. data led many investors to take a step back and reassess their expectations on the global growth trajectory,” said Jemmy Paul, investment director at PT Sucorinvest Asset Management in Jakarta.

Summary

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 -0.6%, with the four largest lenders among the biggest drags
    • Commonwealth Bank -1.3%, National Australia Bank Ltd. -1.6%, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. -1.7%, Westpac Banking Corp -1.8%
    • RBA Becomes a Lonely Rate-Cut Candidate on Aussie Growth Doubts
  • Topix -0.1%, Nikkei 225 little changed
  • Taiwan’s Taiex +0.7%, Kospi -0.1%
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index -0.2%; HSCEI -0.7%; Shanghai Composite -0.5%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index little changed; Philippine Stock Exchange Index +1.2%; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index +0.6%, Vietnam’s VN Index +0.6%, Jakarta Composite Index +0.1%, Thailand’s SET Index -0.2%
  • India’s Sensex +0.2%
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