Asian Stocks Hit by Rising Yields, China Stimulus Hopes Temper Losses

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Asian Stocks Hit by Rising Yields, China Stimulus Hopes Temper Losses
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick 

Investing.com-- Most Asian stock markets fell on Thursday with technology-heavy bourses leading losses after U.S. Treasury yields spiked overnight, although hopes of more stimulus measures in China helped limit declines.

China's benchmark Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes rose marginally. The People’s Bank of China held its loan prime rate at accommodative levels on Thursday, reinforcing expectations that the government will roll out more spending measures to support the economy.

The Government also committed to supporting the economy in the coming months during the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party earlier this week. 

But sentiment towards the country remained wary, especially after President Xi Jinping said Beijing has no plans to withdraw its strict zero-COVID policy. The government also indefinitely delayed the release of third-quarter GDP data, driving speculation over the nature of the reading. 

Additionally, Chinese stocks saw deep losses this week after the White House unveiled plans to block the country from U.S.-made semiconductor imports.

Fears of the new curbs, coupled with an overnight spike in Treasury yields, weighed on Asian technology stocks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slumped 1.5%, while the Taiwan Weighted index dropped 0.8%. South Korea’s KOSPI 50 index also fell 0.8%.

India’s Nifty 50 index fared somewhat better than its tech-heavy peers, helped by strength in consumer stocks. 

Tech stocks were the worst hit by rising U.S. yields this year, as investors discounted future earnings from the sector against an expected jump in interest rates. 

10-year U.S. Treasury yields surged nearly 4% overnight to their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, as investors positioned for more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Hawkish commentary from several Fed officials this week furthered this notion. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8% on Thursday after data showed that despite a slight improvement in the country’s record-high trade deficit , high commodity prices and a weak yen are set to provide economic pressure in the near-term. 

Indonesian stocks were the best performers in Asia, with the Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index rising 1.5% ahead of a central bank interest rate decision . Bank Indonesia is expected to raise rates by 50 basis points as it moves to control rising inflation in the country. 

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1%. But shares of Woodside Energy Ltd (ASX: WDS ), the largest oil and gas firm in the country, rallied 6% after it logged strong third-quarter earnings. 

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