Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trade

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, with Australian and New Zealand markets declining as trading resumed after a long holiday weekend.

Expectations for corporate earnings and a retreat in Treasury yields helped offset lingering concerns about the potential economic impact from the widely expected U.S. monetary tightening.

Japanese shares eked out modest gains after an overnight slump in crude prices helped ease concerns surrounding inflation. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.4 percent to 26,700.11, with rubber product, land transportation, and information and communication issues pacing the gainers.

Shionogi rallied 2 percent after the drug maker upwardly revised its earnings outlook for the business year through March. Fujitsu climbed 2.2 percent on reports that the technology company will sell its scanner business to Ricoh Co.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.4 percent lower at 2,886.43 after the mainland reported 1,908 new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 52 more deaths in the past 24 hours.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended 0.3 percent higher at 19,934.71 despite concerns that China’s COVID lockdowns will dampen economic growth.

Beijing launched mass coronavirus testing for nearly all its 21 million residents, sparking worries of a wider lockdown similar to Shanghai.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund and other global brokerages had cut their growth forecasts for China this year, citing widespread lockdowns and a longer-than-expected slump in the property market.

Australian markets tumbled as shares played catch-up to two days of turmoil in financial markets. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index plunged 2.1 percent to 7,318, dragged down by miners and energy stocks. Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum, Santos and BHP lost 4-6 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 2,668.31 as the latest GDP print suggested a rebound from the travails of the pandemic.

GDP grew an annual 3.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, up 0.7 percent from the previous quarter. Healthcare stocks led the surge, with biopharmaceutical giant Celltrion soaring 8 percent.

New Zealand’s NZX-50 Index dropped 0.8 percent to 11,813.18 on concerns about the impact of a slowdown in the Chinese economy and rising interest rates.

Pushpay Holdings soared 24.3 percent after the digital payment service for churches said it has been inundated with unsolicited acquisition offers.

U.S. stocks recovered from an early slide to close higher overnight as bond yields retreated and tech stocks rallied on Twitter’s acceptance of Elon Musk’s roughly $44 billion takeover bid.

The Dow rose 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.3 percent.

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