Most Asian stock markets declined on Thursday after a weak session in the US and Europe overnight but Shanghai stocks moved higher as China boosted the amount of money foreigners can invest in its capital markets.
The FTSE Asia Pacific index was down 0.1 per cent at 242.28 in late Asian trade, although the decline was much less substantial than the more than 2 per cent drop in London and on most European bourses overnight.
The Shanghai Composite bucked the weaker trend, jumping 1.4 per cent as mainland Chinese markets opened after a three-day public holiday. On Tuesday, China more than doubled the amount of money foreign institutions can invest in its capital markets.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission said international fund managers would be allowed to invest a combined total of $80bn in China’s capital markets – up from the previous limit of $30bn – in an expansion of the so-called qualified foreign institutional investor scheme.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong, however, retreated 1 per cent to 20,579.29. Li & Fung, the finished goods exporter fell 4.2 per cent to HK$17.18 as hopes faded that the US, its biggest export market, would indulge in further monetary stimulus.
Similarly, export-focused stocks in Tokyo led the Nikkei 225 Average down 0.5 per cent to 9,767.61.
Konica Minolta Holdings, the copier and computer peripherals maker, fell 2.6 per cent to Y686, while camera maker Nikon lost 1.9 per cent to Y2,425. Shipping groups were also weaker, with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha down 2.7 per cent to Y182 and Mitsui OSK Lines down 2.3 per cent to Y343.
Sydney’s resource heavy S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent to 4,319.85. Precious metals miners were among the worst performers after falls for gold, silver and platinum on metal exchanges on Wednesday.
Intrepid Mines, the Indonesia-focused precious metals group, lost 6.1 per cent to A$0.70, while OceanaGold shed 3.7 per cent to A$2.36.
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