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Asian stocks rise as tech strength helps offset U.S. rate fears

Published 08/21/2023, 10:49 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- Most Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, buoyed by a recovery in technology stocks ahead of key earnings from Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA), although concerns over rising U.S. interest rates and slowing Chinese growth held back bigger gains. 

While Wall Street indexes ended lower overnight, the technology sector saw strong gains ahead of closely-watched earnings from Nvidia on Wednesday. Anticipation of the Nvidia results also spurred positioning in stocks exposed to the world’s most valuable chipmaker. 

Focus this week will largely be on whether the chipmaker benefited as forecast from an artificial intelligence boom- a trend that is likely to benefit Asian chip stocks that supply to the firm.

But concerns over slowing growth in China, especially after a disappointing interest rate cut by the People’s Bank on Monday, still weighed on sentiment.

An overnight spike in U.S. Treasury yields, ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium this week, also kept traders wary.

Tech stocks, chipmakers gain ahead of Nvidia results 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was the best performer in Asia for the day, rising 0.8%, while the broader TOPIX added 0.6%.

Semiconductor testing equipment maker Advantest Corp (TYO:6857), which is an Nvidia supplier, surged over 4% and was the best performer on the Nikkei. Tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp (TYO:9984) - which also has chipmaking exposure through its Arm unit, jumped over 2%.

In addition to the tech gains, sentiment towards Japan was also buoyed by a strong earnings season. Analysis from Japanese news agency Nikkei showed that top listed companies in Japan were headed for a third straight year of record profits, thanks to higher prices and continued monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan.

Among other major Asian tech firms, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TW:2330) (NYSE:TSM) added 0.6%, while South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.6% on gains in chipmakers Samsung Electronics (KS:005930) and SK Hynix Inc (KS:000660). 

Futures for India’s Nifty 50 index were flat, although heavyweight Indian tech stocks are expected to track gains in their U.S. peers. 

Chinese stocks recover, but outlook uncertain 

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes added about 0.2% each, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4% on strength in heavyweight technology stocks.

All three indexes were trading close to their weakest levels for the year, after doubts over a Chinese economic recovery were intensified by a disappointing interest rate cut from the People’s Bank on Monday.

The move pointed to limited monetary support for the Chinese economy, as it struggles with its worst growth rate in years.

Concerns over China weighed on Australia’s ASX 200, with miner BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP), the biggest stock on the index, down 1.3% after it reported a weak annual profit on sluggish Chinese demand.


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