Asian Stocks Mixed, Possible Halt On China’s Chip Orders

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday after reports suggested that Apple has put on hold plans to use memory chips from China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in its products.

The report comes just a week after the White House unveiled sweeping regulations that limit the sale of semiconductors and chip-making equipment to Chinese customers.

Meanwhile, the iPhone manufacturing hub of Zhengzhou locked down one of its most-populated districts to tame a virus flare-up as President Xi Jinping signaled no change to the Covid-Zero policy.

Expectations of continued monetary policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the escalating Russia-Ukraine war also added to worries over global financial stability.

Chinese shares closed higher as President Xi promised steps to boost the struggling economy and the country’s central bank held its key policy rates steady. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,084.94.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index reversed course to end 0.2 percent higher at 16,612.90 as investors kept their eyes on the weeklong Communist Party congress in China and key economic data out of China due later in the week.

The Taiwan Weighted Index slumped 1.2 percent to 12,966.05 after Xi’s speech at the party congress. At the opening ceremony of the ruling Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress, Xi said China “will never promise to renounce the use of force” for reunification, RTT News reported.

Japanese shares fell sharply as worries lingered over rising bond yields and recession risks. The Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 1.2 percent to 26,775.79, while the broader Topix index closed 1.0 percent lower at 1,879.56.

Drug makers led the losses, with Astellas losing 1.4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo falling 3.3 percent. Heavyweights SoftBank and Fast Retailing ended down 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Seoul stocks rose for a second straight session, with the Kospi rising 0.3 percent to 2,219.71 as investors hunted for bargains. Kakao Corp., the country’s top messaging app, plummeted 5.9 percent after a major outage over the weekend disrupted service for more than 53 million users worldwide.

Australian stocks fell as worries about a potential global recession pulled down commodity-related stocks. Investors also awaited quarterly production reports from mining giants for direction.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 1.4 percent to 6,664.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 1.4 percent lower at 6,854.30. Construction materials producer Adbri plunged 22 percent on news of its CEO’s exit.

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