Asian Stocks Mixed on North Korea Nuke Test, China Data

Stocks in Asia were mixed today with the announcement that North Korea has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb and underwhelming data again came out of China.

The Nikkei slid 157 points (-0.95%) in today’s trade, with fears that North Korean provocations could mean tensions in the region flare up in the coming days. Toyota lost 1.98% while Nissan and Fuji Heavy Industries also saw stocks slide more than 2% for the day.

In China, the Shanghai Composite finished up 67 points (+1.81%) despite General Services PMI data indicated the slowest growth seen in 17 months The recovery, likely due to Beijing’s $20 billion cash injection earlier in the week, follows days of battering for Chinese stocks, which saw the triggering of a new ‘circuit breaker’ system which automatically shuts down trading after stocks lose more than 5%.

The HSI in Hong Kong slid a further 196 points (-0.91%) in afternoon trade.

Friday represents a big day for Asian markets as China releases Balance of Trade, Import and Export data YoY for 2015. Inflation and PPI data will be released Saturday after the market has closed.

Expect a large sell off if data comes in weaker than expected, as this will only further compound weak data which triggered panic selling earlier in the week.

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Daniel Simmons