Asian stocks push higher on tech strength, China lags

  • Stock Market News
Asian stocks push higher on tech strength, China lags
Credit: © Reuters. -- Most Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, buoyed by strength in technology stocks as markets awaited major U.S. earnings this week, although Chinese markets lagged on more weak economic signals.

Regional markets took positive cues from a strong overnight finish on Wall Street, although focus remained chiefly on upcoming earnings reports from Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN ). But strong results from tech heavyweights Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META ), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) last week set a positive tone for the upcoming earnings.

Optimism over improving global economic prospects - amid easing inflation and resilient growth in major economies - also spurred flows into risk-heavy stocks.

Tech-heavy indexes lead gains

South Korea’s KOSPI was the best performer for the day, up over 1% on strength in heavyweight chipmaking stocks. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KS: 005930 ) rose 1.2% after U.S. memory chip making peer Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC ) said that the worst for the industry was over, even as the firm forecast a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and revenue drop.

Strength in internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK: 9988 ) (NYSE: BABA ), Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK: 0700 ), and Baidu Inc (HK: 9888 ) (NASDAQ: BIDU ) kept the Hang Seng index in positive territory, even as other sectors on the index logged steep losses. Property developer Country Garden (HK: 2007 ) slid over 5% after it scrapped a $300 million capital raise.

The Taiwan Weighted index logged small gains, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% on strong automobile and tech stocks.

Sentiment towards Japanese stocks was also aided by emergency bond buying by the Bank of Japan, which pushed up bets that the bank was in no hurry to tighten policy immediately.

Futures for India’s Nifty 50 index pointed to a flat open, although both indexes were close to hitting record highs on strength in heavyweight tech stocks.

Still, gains in most markets were limited as investors remained wary of key U.S. nonfarm payrolls data this week. Mixed economic cues from China also dented sentiment.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.3% ahead of a closely-watched Reserve Bank decision later in the day. Markets are split over whether the bank will hike rates further.

Chinese stocks lag on weak PMIs, stimulus in focus

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index rose just 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite fell slightly as a private survey showed on Tuesday that the country’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly shrank in July.

The reading follows a dismal official survey for July, and shows that China’s biggest economic engines are seeing little signs of recovery this year.

The reading spurred more expectations of stimulus measures from the country, with officials promising more policies to boost domestic consumption and activity. But they have so far offered no clear specifics on the policies, which has left investors somewhat wary of local stocks.

While the prospect of more Chinese stimulus had spurred strong gains in local stocks over the past week, the momentum now appears to be slowing.

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