Hong Kong shares led losses in Asia on Wednesday after Wall Street’s negative lead. Consumer confidence in South Korea and Japan fell, according to official surveys.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 244.87 points, or 0.9%, to 26,804.60
Retail sales in Japan rose 3.6% in May compared to a year ago, a third consecutive month of growth, government data showed.
Japan’s consumer confidence fell in June, with the index at 32.1, compared to 34.1 in May.
The Japanese yen weakened past the 136 level against the U.S. dollar again, after strengthening and holding steady in the past few sessions. It last changed hands at 136.14
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dumped 422.08 points, or 1.9%, to 21,996.89.
South Korea’s consumer sentiment index fell, standing at 96.4 for June 2022, down 6.2 points from May’s print, according to Bank of Korea’s survey.
Singapore’s STI bucked the trend in the region, rising about 0.21% in its final hour of trade following Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s announcement to strengthen Singapore’s “social compact” on Tuesday.
Talk of the social compact has had a positive influence on markets because increased productivity — a component of social compact — gave some Singapore’s stocks a boost in the past two years,
Retail sales in Australia rose 0.9% in May compared to April, the same increase in April from March.
The Australian dollar was at $0.6884.
In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 69.16 points, or 1.5%, to 4,421.36.
Elsewhere in the region, China cut the quarantine period for international travelers on Tuesday, in a step away from its strict Covid controls that have been in place for more than two years.
People arriving from overseas will now need to quarantine for seven days upon arrival and three days at home, compared to up to 21 days in a centralized facility previously.
Mainland Chinese markets closed higher on Tuesday, but the Shanghai Composite slipped 1.4% to 3,361.52, and the Shenzhen Component declined 2.2% to 12,696.5 on Wednesday.
Trip.com’s U.S.-listed shares popped nearly 11% on Tuesday, and extended gains in after hours trade. Cathay Pacific’s stock closed 6.4% higher on the news on Tuesday, but declined slightly on Wednesday.
In other markets
In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 5.34 points, or 0.2%, to 3,134.87.
In Taiwan, the Taiex tumbled 199.79 points, or 1.3%, to 15,240.13.
In Korea, the Kospi floundered 44.1 points, or 1.8%, to 2,377.99.
In Australia, the ASX 200 settled 63.41 points, or 0.9%, to 6,700.23.
In New Zealand, the NZX gave up 59.81 points, or 0.5%, to 10,958.81.