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Asian stocks mixed on regional growth prospects; Nikkei down

ForexFeb 25, 2014 11:46PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items – Asian stocks were mixed in light trade on Wednesday with concerns over the growth prospects for the region.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.34%, the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.14% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index went up 0.26%.

In China, ChiNext index fell 1.8% while Huayi Brothers Media Corp. fell 6.7%. In Japan, Panasonic Corp. rose 5.4% after news that the company is in talks with Tesla Motors to build a car battery plant in the U.S.

Meanwhile on Tuesday U.S. stocks slid on a disappointing consumer confidence report, though healthy corporate earnings cushioned losses.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.13%.

Stocks fell after the Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index slipped to 78.1 in February from 79.4 in January, mainly due to concerns over general business conditions, jobs, and earnings.

Analysts were expecting the index to tick up to 80.0.

The present situation index rose to its highest level in almost six years, but the expectations index declined, indicating that while consumers believe the economy has improved they do not foresee further considerable improvement in the coming months.

Also on Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller house price index rose 13.4% in December from a year earlier, the best December reading in eight years and slightly ahead of forecasts for a 13.3% gain.

Still, better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings from do-it-yourself homebuilder Home Depot as well as at retailer Macy's cushioned losses as did the monetary implications of weak economic indicators.

Investors bet Tuesday's data, the latest in a string of disappointing indicators, will nudge the Federal Reserve to go at a more gradual pace tapering its monthly bond-buying program, which elevates stock prices by keeping borrowing costs low.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Home Depot, up 3.99%, Chevron, up 0.73%, and Coca-Cola, up 0.65%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Boeing, down 2.18%, Goldman Sachs, down 1.81%, and JPMorgan, down 1.71%.

On Wednesday, the U.S. is to release data on new home sales, a leading indicator of demand in the housing market.

Asian stocks mixed on regional growth prospects; Nikkei down

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