Asia Stocks Rise on Pivot Hopes, China Hit by Weak Earnings

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Asia Stocks Rise on Pivot Hopes, China Hit by Weak Earnings
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick

Investing.com-- Most Asian stock markets rose on Thursday amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will pivot to a less hawkish stance in the face of an economic slowdown, while Chinese stocks lagged on weak third-quarter earnings. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was among the best performers for the day, rallying nearly 2% as it recovered from a 13-year low. The Taiwan Weighted index added 1.4%, while India’s Nifty 50 index rose 0.5% in catch-up trade. 

China’s bluechip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index fell 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.3% after weak third-quarter earnings from power generating giant Datang International Power Generation (SS: 601991 ). The stock was the biggest weight on both major indexes. 

Shares of the firm slumped over 10% after it logged a loss of 635.6 million yuan for the nine months to September 30, amid increased power generation costs due to coal shortages and a recent drought.

Other major power generation firms also sank after the results, with Huaneng Power International Inc (SS: 600011 ) and Huadian Power International Corp (SS: 600027 ) losing 8% and 6.2%, respectively. 

Further weighing on Chinese stocks, data showed industrial profits sank for a third consecutive month in September, pointing to more sluggish trends for the economy.

Chinese stocks were still reeling from a sharp selloff this week, amid growing concerns over the country’s political climate. The outlook for the economy remains uncertain, after the government reiterated its commitment to the strict zero-COVID policy that has caused widespread disruption in the country this year.

Broader Asian stocks rose, buoyed by hopes that slowing economic growth will push the Federal Reserve and its major peers into softening their hawkish stance. 

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points in November. But bets that the central bank will hike rates by a smaller 50 basis points in December are growing. 

Focus is now on third-quarter U.S. GDP data , due later in the day, for more cues on the path of U.S. monetary policy.

The Japanese central bank is also set to meet on Friday, and is widely expected to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3% ahead of the meeting. 

South Korea’s KOSPI index rose 1.5%, shrugging off data that showed the country’s economy barely grew in the third quarter.

The weak reading ramped up expectations that the Bank of Korea will slow its rate hike cycle due to pressure on the economy, a move that is positive for equities.

 

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