Asian Stock Markets Muted Ahead of Chinese Communist Party Meeting in Beijing

Asian stock markets were muted Tuesday, ahead of the Wednesday start of the Chinese Communist Party twice-a-decade congress. President Xi Jinping is expected to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader and new economic policy directives made public. Hong Kong traded flat and Tokyo gained but Shanghai retreated, while other regional exchanges were also uneven.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.38% on overnight Wall Street cues and an earnings season seen as positive, said analysts. The index gained despite an increase in the exchange rate of the yen vs. the US dollar, seen as a negative in export-oriented Japan.

In other news, If Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday prevails in the Lower House election it will raise odds that Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, seen as growth-oriented, will serve a second term, a former economy minister told Japan Times.

Also, confidence among Japanese manufacturers rebounded in October to match a peak last seen in mid-2007, a Reuters poll found.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 80.56 to 21,336.12, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 139 to 75.

Leading the upside were Sumitomo Metal (STMNF, 5713:Tokyo), up 4.1%; followed by Kobe Steel (KBSTY, 5406:Tokyo), up 3.1%; and then silicon wafer-naker Sumco (SUMCF, 3436:Tokyo), up 2.9%.

On the downside were entertainment-concern Toho (TKCOF, 9602:Tokyo), off 2.2%; and then temp-agency Recruit (RCRRF, 6098:Tokyo), off 2.1%.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index traded flat and mixed, nominally gaining 0.02% as traders grew cautious ahead of the pending Chinese Community Party meeting.

Also, Q3 Hong Kong economic data will be released Thursday.

The broad gauge Hang Seng rose 4.69 to 28,697.49, but losing issues outnumbered gainers 26 to 20, making for a mixed day.

Leading the upside were confectioner Want Want China (151:HK), up 3.3%; followed by Apple (AAPL) supplier AAC Technologies (2018:HK), up 2.6%; and then property-outfit CK Asset (113:HK), up 1.3%.

On the downside were the exchange itself, Hong Kong Exchanges (388:HK), off 1.6%; and then China Mengniu Dairy (2319:HK), off 1.4%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.19% to 3,372.04.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi inclined 0.32%; the Taiwan TWSE lost 0.47%; the Australian ASX 200 inclined 0.73%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.18%; and the Thai Set lost 0.13%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up/down 0.08%.

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