SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade after overnight losses saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite sliding to a fresh low for 2022.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose about 0.2%.
China’s industrial profits rose 8.5% year-on-year in the January-March period, official data showed Wednesday.
“I actually am quite impressed at how industrial production and profits have held up in China so far and I actually think that the Covid impact will not be as great as perhaps some analysts think,” David Chao, global market strategist for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan at Invesco, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday.
“I think the government is going to do whatever they can to stabilize growth and to prop it up,” Chao said. “One of the ways is through ensuring that industrial production and manufacturing continues to go on.”
Chinese stocks saw heavy losses earlier in the week as investors remain concerned over the Covid situation in mainland. Mass testing recently began in China’s capital city of Beijing after a spike in Covid cases was reported over the weekend. That comes as much of Shanghai remains under prolonged lockdown.
“The fear that Beijing is about to join Shanghai in lockdown is palpable,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.
Australian stocks closed lower, with the S&P/ASX 200 falling 0.78% to 7,261.20. Australia’s consumer price index rose 2.1% in the March 2022 quarter, data from the country’s statistics bureau showed Wednesday. That was above expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.7% rise.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.67% lower.
Technology stocks in the region fell mostly in Wednesday trade, with shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group dipping 0.25%. In South Korea, shares of Samsung Electronics dropped more than 1% while Krafton shed 4.02%.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.95% overnight stateside to 12,490.74. The index now sits deeper in bear market territory, at around 23% off its high.
Other indexes on Wall Street also saw sizable losses, with the S&P 500 falling 2.81% to 4,175.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 809.28 points, or 2.38%, to 33,240.18.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.43 — above levels below 100.8 seen last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 127.96 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 128.1 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7179, still off levels above $0.72 seen yesterday.
Oil prices were higher during the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.62% to $105.64 per barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 0.4% to $102.11 per barrel.