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“It was a mixed week for Asian markets, with Chinese stocks slipping and Japanese stocks rising

“It was a mixed week for Asian markets, with Chinese stocks slipping and Japanese stocks rising

It was a mixed week for Asian markets, with Japan’s Nikkei remaining upbeat while China’s stock index fell to a six-year low, reflecting a bleak outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

“It was a mixed week for Asian markets, with Chinese stocks slipping and Japanese stocks rising

Tokyo’s benchmark average rose after a strong performance on Wall Street, but the focus was on China, where policy support measures failed to boost investor confidence.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index and the Shanghai Composite Index both fell, with the latter dropping 6.2 per cent this week, its biggest one-week drop since October 2018. Stocks in the healthcare, information technology, securities and new energy sectors were particularly hard hit.

By contrast, Hong Kong stocks initially rose before reversing their gains, despite a boost for gaming companies after China approved Tencent’s gaming licence. The Hang Seng Index and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index closed lower.

Japan’s Nikkei average bucked the trend as local investors showed strong interest in stocks with a positive outlook and strong shareholder returns. However, Aozora Bank continued to struggle, hitting a three-year low after reporting its first annual net loss in 15 years.

Elsewhere, stocks rose in Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Wellington, Manila, Bangkok and Mumbai, while Jakarta slipped.

Impressive quarterly results from Meta Platforms and Amazon boosted the tech sector, but gains were tempered by disappointing sales results from Apple in China. Futures markets are expected to get off to a good start as European markets benefit from a rebound in tech stocks.

Investors await payrolls data from the US, where expectations of slower job growth in January could influence the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision. Weaker data could make another rate cut in March possible, while the market still sees a significant rate cut next year.

Long-term Treasury yields had their best week since mid-December, reflecting expectations of a rate cut, while the slide in yields put pressure on the dollar.

In the energy markets, oil prices recovered slightly following OPEC+’s decision to maintain its production policy, but are still on track for a consecutive week of declines. Overall, market sentiment remained cautious amid global economic uncertainty.

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