Asian shares mixed ahead of company earnings

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 20 Sep 2017, 00:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
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Asian markets were trading mixed on Tuesday as investors stayed cautious ahead of company earnings reports.

A strong US dollar and economic woes in Europe could have had an impact on profits for firms in the third quarter, according to analysts.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.7% lower at 15,783.83 after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) painted a bleaker outlook for the economy.

The Japanese yen weakened against the dollar, rising to 109.10.

The BOJ maintained its massive monetary easing plans, but said that weak consumer spending was impacting factory output and business sentiment.

"It's true the effect [of the sales tax hike] on the economy is being prolonged. There's also the effect of bad summer weather," said BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

In Hong Kong, stocks inched higher as pro-democracy protests in the city started to taper.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.4% to close at 23,408.19.

The impact from the protests on the economy has started to show, with the Hong Kong Retail Management Association releasing a survey that said some major retailers saw sales fall up to 50% during the Chinese national holidays.

RBA holds rates

Australian shares were lower after the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) kept interest rates at a record low of 2.5% on Tuesday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 0.2% lower at 5,284.2 points.

The RBA was widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged after a private gauge of consumer prices on Monday showed inflation slowed in September.

A cooling mining sector and lower export prices have also been a drag on the Australian economy.

The Australian dollar, meanwhile, weakened further to $0.8755 against the US dollar on the RBA's comments that it was still too strong.

In South Korea, Kospi shares closed 0.2% higher despite heavyweight Samsung Electronics reporting a big fall in expected third quarter profit.

The world's largest smartphone maker said its quarterly operating profit is estimated to have fallen 60% from the previous year as sales for its Galaxy handsets slowed.

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