SINGAPORE – Shares in Hong Kong and South Korea fell in Asia on Wednesday, following negative Wall Street gains. According to official surveys, consumer confidence in South Korea and Japan fell.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.66% while the Hang Seng Tec Index dropped 3.17%. Alibaba shares in Hong Kong fell 2.96% and Meituan fell 2.5%.
In South Korea, the Kospi fell 1.45%, while the Kosdaq fell 0.6%.
South Korea’s consumer sentiment index for June 2022 fell to 96.4, down 6.2 points from May’s print, according to a Bank of Korea survey.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 1.17%, and the Topix slipped 0.9%. Government data showed retail sales in Japan rose 3.6% in May from a year earlier, for the third straight month.
Japan’s consumer confidence fell in June, with the index at 32.1 compared to 34.1 in May.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.8%. Retail sales in Australia rose 0.9% in May compared to April, a similar increase from March to April.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares fell 1.24%.
AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver said as long as a recession can be averted, the market will remain weak.
“Even if we don’t have a slowdown, we’re going to see a significant slowdown in global growth, growth in Asia, and that’s going to impact the company’s profits, so I suspect there’s going to be more downside.” is,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday, adding that the market could only come down in September or October.
“I’m still optimistic on the 12-month outlook, but for the next three or four months, I think there’s more downside,” he said.
“With the Fed aggressively hiking an already weak economy, I think the chances of a soft landing are not that high,” said Gunther Weston, global head of asset allocation at ODDO BHF Asset Management.
china quarantine change
Elsewhere in the region, China on Tuesday cut the quarantine period for international travelers, a step away from its stricter Covid controls for more than two years.
People coming from abroad will now need to be quarantined for seven days on arrival and three days at home, as against 21 days in a centralized facility earlier.
Mainland Chinese markets closed higher on Tuesday, but the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.7=87%, and the Shenzhen Component fell 1.219% on Wednesday.
US-listed shares of Trip.com were up about 11% on Tuesday, and extended gains in after-hours trading. Cathay Pacific’s stock closed up 6.4% on the news Tuesday, but fell 1.4% on Wednesday.
China Eastern and China Southern Airlines both rose more than 5% on Tuesday, but fell on Wednesday.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, also reported that Hong Kong’s visiting administration is considering reducing mandatory hotel quarantines from seven to five days.
currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, jumped from 104 earlier this week to 104.525.
After consolidating and holding steady over the past few sessions, the Japanese yen again weakened from the 136 level against the dollar. It last changed hands on 136.03. The Australian dollar was at $0.6908.
Oil futures declined in Asia in afternoon trade. US crude futures were down 0.5% at $111.20 a barrel, while Brent crude was down 0.73% at $117.12 a barrel.
— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.