Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Monday as weak business activity data from Europe and the United States coupled with anxiety about China’s property market added to worries about a recession.
Bond yields retreated amid bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will likely slow the pace of interest rate increases after front-loading policy with a second straight 75 basis point rate hike on Wednesday.
Investors also awaited earnings from Google’s Alphabet and technology titan Apple this week for additional clues on the economic outlook.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that a recession is not inevitable. Both the dollar and gold were little changed in Asian trading, while oil extended a recent losing streak on worries over fuel demand.
Chinese shares fell notably as investors awaited progress in a potential restructuring plan for China Evergrande Group. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6 percent to 3,250.39, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.2 percent lower at 20,562.94.
Japanese shares ended lower as investors anxiously await this week’s U.S. GDP data and the Fed’s policy meeting. The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 0.8 percent to 27,699.25 to snap a seven-day winning streak, while the broader Topix ended 0.7 percent lower at 1,943.21. Nikon, Eisai and Yaskawa Electric lost 3-4 percent.
Seoul stocks eked out modest gains on institutional buying. The Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 2,403.69, with automakers and car parts suppliers leading the surge. Hyundai Motor, Kia and Hyundai Mobis gained 2-3 percent.
Australian markets fluctuated before finishing marginally lower ahead of second-quarter consumer price data due on Wednesday. Tech stocks led losses, with EML Payments plunging more than 22 percent.
Higher iron prices helped lift miners, with BHP and Rio Tinto closing up 1.6 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. Diversified miner South32 gained 0.9 percent after a solid Q4 update.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 0.6 percent to settle at 11,198.68.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday to snap a three-day winning streak following dismal earnings updates from Twitter and Snap.
Treasuries extended an advance on recession fears and traders pared their expectations for Fed rate hikes after a survey showed U.S. business activity contracted in July for the first time in two years.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.9 percent, the S&P 500 shed 0.9 percent and the Dow dipped 0.4 percent.
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