Asian Shares Retreat On Oil Slide, Tech Selloff

Asian stocks closed broadly lower on Tuesday after oil prices fell over 1 percent overnight and Brexit talks did not yield a breakthrough on the withdrawal issues. Encouraging services sector data from China helped to limit regional losses to some extent.

Chinese shares ended lower even as survey results from IHS Markit revealed the country’s private sector growth momentum improved marginally in November.

The Caixin composite output index rose to 51.6 from October’s 16-month low of 51.0, suggesting the economy has maintained stability and there was no imminent risk of a significant decline in its growth rate.

The pace of manufacturing growth picked up from October’s four-month low, while services activity grew the most in three months. China’s official nonmanufacturing PMI also rose to 54.8 in November from 54.3 in October.

China’s Shanghai Composite index dropped 5.94 points or 0.18 percent to 3,303.68 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down almost 1 percent in late trade.

Japanese shares fell as tech stocks succumbed to heavy selling pressure hit by a tech sell-off on Wall Street overnight. The Nikkei average shed 84.78 points or 0.37 percent to finish at 22,622.38 while the broader Topix index closed 0.23 percent higher at 1,790.97. Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Sumco Corp tumbled 2-4 percent.

Steelmakers JFE Holdings, Kobe Steel and Nisshin Steel climbed 2-3 percent. Nidec rose 1.2 percent on news that it would set up a joint venture with French carmaker PSA to produce motors for electric vehicles.

On the economic front, the latest survey from Nikkei showed that the services sector in Japan continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower pace, with a PMI score of 51.2, down from the 26-month high of 53.4 in October.

Australian shares closed lower, dragged down by financials after the Reserve Bank of Australia left the cash rate on hold for the 16th month in a row, as widely expected, citing low wage growth and subdued inflation.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slid 13.80 points or 0.23 percent to 5,971.80 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended 0.22 percent lower at 6,057.30.

Banks ANZ and Westpac fell around 1 percent each while mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto lost 1-2 percent. South32 rallied 3.7 percent after the company projected lower output and higher unit costs at its Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operations in NSW for 2017-18.

Telecommunications provider Telstra jumped over 3 percent to extend gains while energy majors Origin…

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