Stocks trade lower; SoftBank falls after earnings report

SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mixed Tuesday on a quiet data day as markets continue to digest last week’s stellar US jobs report.

SoftBank Group’s stock fell around 7% after its Vision Fund reported a 2.93 trillion Japanese yen ($21.68 billion) loss for the June quarter on Monday after the market close. The tech-focused fund has suffered as central banks raise interest rates to fight inflation.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.88% to close at 27,999.96 and the Topix index was down 0.74% to 1,937.02.

South Korea’s Kospi closed about 0.42% higher at 2,503.46, while the Kosdaq gained 0.34% to 833.65.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.13% to 7,029.8.

Markets instead have been mulling over Friday’s strong payrolls report with a few more US banks calling a 75bp hike in September.

Tapas Strickland

Economist, National Australia Bank

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gave up earlier gains to trade 0.3% lower in the final hour of the session, while heavyweight Alibaba climbed about 0.7%.

Alibaba has applied to change its Hong Kong listing status to primary from secondary, the company said in a statement on the Hong Kong Exchange. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange acknowledged the application on Aug. 8. The change will likely take effect before the end of 2022.

The tech giant first announced its plans for a dual primary listing in Hong Kong last month.

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Mainland China markets advanced. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.32% to 3,247.43 and the Shenzhen Component added 0.235% to 12,331.09.

Intelligent transport firm Zhengzhou Tiamaes Technology stock soared nearly 20% after China’s ministry of transport released draft rules for self-driving vehicles that could lead to a legalization of such vehicles on public roads.

ShenZhen RoadRover Technology’s shares jumped 10%, hitting its trading limit, according to Chinese media.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed.

China’s continued military drills around Taiwan have not impacted markets much, according to Tapas Strickland, an economist at National Australia Bank.

“Markets instead have been mulling over Friday’s strong payrolls report with a few more US banks calling a 75bp hike in September,” he said in a note on Tuesday.

In economic data, investors are looking ahead to the US consumer price index data due Wednesday stateside.

Singapore and India markets are closed for a holiday on Tuesday.

Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 dipped 0.12% to 4,140.06 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.1% to 12,644.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly to close at 32,832.54.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of six foreign currencies, was at 106,320, slightly lower after its recent jump to nearly 107.

“Continued hawkish messages from the Fed and a strong CPI result can support the USD,” Kristina Clifton, an economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a Tuesday morning note.

The Japanese yen traded at 134.92 per dollar following a sharp weakening after last week’s strong US jobs report.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6969. It briefly climbed above $0.70 overnight.

Oil futures settled nearly 2% higher on Monday’s session. US West Texas Intermediate futures were 0.79% lower on Tuesday in Asia, at $90.09 per barrel, while Brent crude shed 0.68% to $95.99 per barrel.

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