In Asian markets, shares edged up to near three-month highs and global equities held steady near a record, as data showing higher U.S. manufacturing activity in May cheered investors looking for signs of a continued rebound in the world’s largest economy.
China shares ended lower on Wednesday, as investors booked profits after a rally in healthcare firms driven by the country’s recent three-child policy. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.76% at 3,597.14, while the bluechip CSI300 index was down 0.97%.Falling the most, the CSI300 healthcare subindex declined 1.85%, while the information technology subindex fell 1.86% and the securities subindex skid 1.83%.Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Holding Co, down 3.8%, and vaccine producer Walvax Biotechnology Co Ltd , 3.5% lower, were the two biggest decliners on the healthcare subindex.The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.11% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was 1.731% weaker.
Japanese shares ended higher, supported by gains in the hospitality sector as a pickup in vaccination drives boosted economic reopening hopes, while shares of carmakers scaled new highs on stronger global demand. The Nikkei share average rose 0.46% to close at 28,946.14, while the broader Topix gained 0.84% to 1,942.33.Railway companies were among the best performers, with West Japan Railway jumping 7.7% and East Japan Railway soaring 6.0%.Airliner ANA Holdings gained 3.2%, while rival Japan Airlines climbed 3.5%.The real estate sector was another strong performer, with Sumitomo Realty & Development adding 4.3%, while Mitsui Fudosan rose 5.2%.
Indian shares slipped, weighed down by financials and information technology stocks, with investors also worried over high valuations following a recent rally. The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.48% to 15,500.85 by 0503 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.64% to 51,597.22. Software services firm Infosys Ltd and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd were among the top drags to the Nifty 50, falling 1.4% and 1%, respectively. HDFC has risen in the last six trading sessions out of eight. Among other losers, cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate ITC Ltd fell 1.9% after its March-quarter profit slipped. While the market’s sentiment recently has remained upbeat due to a steady decline in daily COVID-19 cases, several economists have warned about the huge second coronavirus wave’s impact on the economic growth for the current quarter.
Australian shares scaled a record high today, as investors lapped up data that showed the country’s first-quarter economic growth came in better than expected and shrugged off concerns over fresh COVID-19 cases in Victoria. The S&P/ASX 200, which has climbed to record highs a multiple times in recent sessions, closed 1.1% higher at 7,217.8. The benchmark ended 0.3% lower on Tuesday. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed gross domestic product rose 1.8%, topping estimates, while increased consumer and business spending lifted output. Miners, the biggest constituent on the Aussie benchmark, rose 2%, and were up for a fifth straight day due to firmer commodity prices. Global miner Rio Tinto ended the session 2.1% higher, while rival BHP Ltd hit its biggest closing high since May 18. Energy stocks tracked a jump in oil prices to close 4.1% higher in their best session since late February. Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd rose 4.6% and 6.5%, respectively, with the latter closing at its highest in nearly three months.