Asian Shares Fall On Weak Chinese Data

Asian stocks fell on Tuesday as weak Chinese services data revived concerns about growth and spurred risk aversion.

China’s service sector grew at the slowest pace in eight months in August largely due to weaker new business.

The Caixin services Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped more-than-expected to 51.8 from 54.1 in July. The expected score was 53.6.

The dollar traded close to three-month highs in Asian trading and gold was little changed, while oil prices slipped after recent strong gains.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,154.37 on concerns about a feeble economic recovery.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 2.1 percent to 18,456.91. Property developers led the retreat as concerns about debt defaults persisted.

Japanese shares eked out modest gains to close at a one-month high as a weaker yen offset government data showing the weakest household spending in more than two years.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.30 percent to 33,036.76, marking a seven-day winning streak and closing above the psychological 33,000 level for the first time in more than a month.

The broader Topix Index settled 0.2 percent higher at 2,377.85, logging a seventh straight day gain.

JFE Holdings slumped 6.1 percent after the steel giant’s board approved a fundraising plan through a public share offering.

Seoul stocks ended little changed, with the Kospi ending marginally lower at 2,582.18 after data showed inflation in the country accelerated much faster than estimates in August on the back of higher energy costs.

Australian markets ended on a subdued note as the Reserve Bank of Australia held rates steady for the third straight month, as widely expected, but warned of further monetary tightening.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index slipped 4.50 points to 7,314.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 8.90 points at 7,516.80.

Banks and gold miners led losses. Westpac Banking Corp dropped 1.4 percent after the corporate regulator said it was taking the lender to court over its alleged failure to respond to customers’ financial hardship notices.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index fell 0.7 percent to 11,437.25.

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