Asian shares broadly up despite China fears, weak oil prices

 29 Dec 2015 - 10:32

Asian shares broadly up despite China fears, weak oil prices
File picture for representation only


Tokyo: Asian stock markets broadly rose Tuesday in see-saw trading despite fears about the state of China's economy, a key driver of global growth.

Another slump in oil prices also curbed investors' enthusiasm in low-volume trading as markets wind down in the last week of the year.

Analysts warned that sliding crude prices, which had enjoyed a brief push upward last week, would drag on Asia-Pacific markets.

"Whenever the weakness in oil regains market attention, it weighs on sentiment," Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News. 

"Movement in Chinese shares will continue to have an effect on other markets."

However, mainland Chinese shares climbed in late afternoon trading, while Tokyo and Sydney cast off early losses to end higher, partly lifted by bargain buying.

Shanghai was up 0.31 percent and Shenzhen added 0.24 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index had risen 0.34 percent Tuesday afternoon.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.58 percent higher on bargain-hunting after closing flat at the lunch break. 

Seoul ended 0.11 percent higher and Singapore added 0.41 percent in afternoon trade. Taiwan ended down 0.77 percent.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX200 shrugged off early losses as investors bought banks and consumer stocks, offsetting falls in major miners, to end up 1.15 percent.

In Wellington, the NZX-50 index rose 1.07 percent.

Earlier in the day, sentiment drooped in the wake of disappointing industrial profit data that pointed to weakness in China's economy.

The looming end to a six-month Chinese share sale ban aggravated worries about a sell-off on mainland bourses, adding to the gloomy picture.

Dealers were also spooked by reports that Saudi Arabia would cut fuel and utility subsidies in response to a record budget deficit to cope with plunging oil prices.

"The pre-Christmas general recovery in global risk sentiment is showing some signs of fragility as we approach the year-end," Australia National Bank credit analyst Simon Fletcher said in a commentary.