HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets slipped Wednesday despite record closing highs on Wall Street, with Tokyo stocks retreating after the central bank stood pat on monetary policy even as Japan tipped back into recession.
Sydney dropped 0.57 per cent, or 30.9 points, to 5,368.8, Shanghai lost 0.22 per cent, or 5.38 points, to 2,450.99 and Hong Kong fell 0.66 per cent, or 155.86 points, to 23,373.31.
Seoul ended flat, shedding 0.14 points to 1,966.87.
Tokyo shed 0.32 per cent, or 55.31 points, to end at 17,288.75 after Bank of Japan policymakers trimmed their inflation expectations but held off fresh monetary easing.
On Tuesday Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for early elections to seek a mandate for delaying next year’s sales tax increase, after data showed the Japanese economy was in recession – hammered by a sales tax rise in April.
“Abe’s actions were in line with market expectations, which had been building for several days,” said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical strategist at Daiwa Securities.
“Historically, the market tends to rise between the time elections are declared and when the vote actually occurs, and foreign investors, importantly, appear to be embracing the decision,” Kinouchi told Dow Jones Newswires.
Investors were eyeing BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s press briefing later Wednesday.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.23 per cent and the S&P 500 rose 0.51 per cent to close at fresh records following solid economic data from Germany and the United States.
Investment sentiment in the eurozone’s biggest economy rebounded in November, a survey showed Tuesday.
After hitting a 22-month low in October, the widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute was back in positive territory in November, jumping to 11.5 points from minus 3.6 points the previous month.