Telecom stocks dive in Japan; Chinese stocks surge
After a roller-coaster October, Asian stock markets started November with widespread gains.
Japan was the notable exception, with the Nikkei NIK, -1.06% down 0.5% amid caution over U.S. trade policies and the upcoming midterm elections. The telecom sector fell 6.3%, by far the worst among 33 Topix sectors, after NTT DoCoMo said it would cut mobile service charges. NTT DoCoMo 9437, -14.71% was down 11% while fellow telecom KDDI 9433, -16.15% dropped 15% and SoftBank Group 9984, -8.16% sank 6.9%. Panasonic 6752, -5.64% was also sharply down.
Meanwhile, Chinese stocks surged Thursday, with Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng Index HSI, +1.58% jumping 1.4%. Apple Inc. AAPL, +2.61% suppliers Sunny Optical 2382, +5.44% and AAC Tech 2018, +6.54% , rose 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively, a day after Apple unveiled new computers and iPads. Country Garden 2007, +8.22% and China Overseas Land 0688, +4.68% rose 8.2% and 3.2%, respectively, after what UOB Kay Hian analyst Ivan Ip called an upbeat assessment on mainland China’s construction recovery from yesterday’s PMI reading. Among the losers, CLP Holdings 0002, -1.65% was down 1.3% and Power Assets 0006, -1.43% slipped 1.1%.
Mainland China benchmarks continued higher, as the latest Politburo meeting called for “healthy development” of the capital market, with Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.05% gaining 1.1%. The smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.83% was up 1.5%, following its seventh straight monthly decline. Some AI-related names popped, boosted by President Xi Jinping’s pep talk, while infrastructure stocks outperformed the boarder market.
Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.18% rose 0.3%, as BHP Billiton BHP, +2.79% rose after announcing a plan to give $10.4 billion from its shale sale to investors via an equally split buyback and special dividend. Stocks in New Zealand NZ50GR, +1.05% rose as well.
Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.43% gained 0.5% despite fears that the country’s economic slowdown could be worse than it seems, after third-quarter GDP grew 2.28% year-over-year, slower than the previous quarter’s 3.3% expansion. Benchmark indexes in South Korea SEU, -0.26% , Singapore STI, +1.20% and Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.34% all posted solid gains.