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Asian markets mixed after China data disappoints


Asian stocks were mixed Thursday after China reported economic data that was weaker than expected.

While China’s Shanghai Composite Index opened in the green, the index reversed its gains after the government’s report and briefly dipped 0.2%. It clawed back the losses in the afternoon and rose slightly.

Retail sales in China grew 7.2% in October compared to a year prior, below the 7.9% increase expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Industrial output, meanwhile, grew 4.7%, which was also weaker than anticipated.

“Downward pressure has continued to increase on the economy,” China’s national statistical authority said in a statement accompanying the data.

Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.8%. The index has tumbled more than 4% so far this week as the city continued to grapple with violent unrest.

Cathay Pacific dropped as much as 1.6% after the airline said that inbound passenger numbers fell 35% year-on-year in October, and it warned that its earnings in the second half of 2019 would be significantly weaker than the first six months of the year.

More than five months of protests in the city have taken a toll on the travel industry, with airline operators feeling the pinch.

The stock was last down 0.5%.

Tencent declined 2.3% in Hong Kong after the Chinese social media and gaming giant reported a 13% drop in net profit for the third quarter, below what analysts forecasted in a Refinitiv poll.

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products, declined 2.3% on the Shenzhen stock exchange. The company said Thursday that two senior executives were investigated by the country’s top securities regulator over alleged violations of disclosure rules.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 opened higher, but then lost ground after the world’s third largest economy reported a weaker-than-expected growth rate for the third quarter. It ended down 0.8%.

SoftBank’s Z Holdings, formerly Yahoo Japan, soared 17% in Tokyo after multiple media reports said the company is in talks to merge with messaging app operator Line Corp.

South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.2%.

US futures seesawed between small gains and losses during Asian trading hours on Thursday. Futures for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down between 0.1% and 0.2%.

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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