The Nikkei Average is down 1.7% at 14,966, dipping back below the 15,000 mark for the first time this week, while the Topix is weaker by 1.5%.
Australian consumer sentiment is now in “pessimistic” territory, data out today show, and the big retailers are offering solid discounts on their share prices.
This month’s Westpac/Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment showed a 0.7% fall (this after a hard 3% tumble last month) to hit 99.5, with anything below the 100 level meaning that pessimists outnumber optimists.
t’s been a terrible week for Hong Kong investors so far, with worries about China’s slowdown lingering, and today is no exception, with the Hang Seng Index down 1.4%.
Chinese insurers are facing especially heavy selling pressure, amid the ongoing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. China’s top insurance regulator has issued an urgent notice to press insurers to quickly settle claims for the Malaysian airplane case. The plane was reportedly carrying 239 passengers, 154 of whom are Chinese.
China Life Insurance is tumbling 2.6%, and People’s Insurance Company is declining 2.2%, while both Ping An Inruance and China Taiping Insurance are down more than 1.3%.
In the other hand mainland markets are outperforming Hong Kong, with the Shanghai Composite Index currently down 0.5% at 1,991.40.
At 7.30 AM
Japan (Nikkei Average) down 2.2%
Hong Kong (Hang Seng Index) down 1.4%
Shanghai (Shanghai Composite Index) down 0.1%
Sydney (S&P/ASX 200) down 1.1%
Seoul (Kospi) down 1.1%
Taipei (Taiex) down 0.5%