Asian Shares Mixed After Jackson Hole Speeches

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday after the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offered little surprises, with both Fed Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi sticking to the script of the conference rather than discussing the course of monetary policy.

Both warned against dismantling tough post-crisis financial rules that the Trump administration blames for stifling U.S. growth.

Chinese shares hit 20-month highs after data showed Chinese industrial firms maintained a profit surge in July, though the pace of growth eased from the previous month. Investor sentiment was also helped by reports that China’s securities regulator will continue to support the mixed ownership reform of State-owned enterprises.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 31.13 points or 0.93 percent to finish at 3,362.65, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was marginally lower in late trade.

Japanese shares ended a choppy session on a flat note as the yen edged up in otherwise quiet trade in the wake of a North Korean missile test on Saturday. The Nikkei average closed marginally lower at 19,449.90 while the broader Topix index closed 0.20 percent higher at 1,600.12.

Energy explorer Inpex dropped 0.7 percent and Japan Petroleum declined 1.6 percent. Automakers Mazda Motor and Toyota fell around half a percent each. Insurer Tokio Marine Holdings shed 0.9 percent as investors assessed losses from the flood damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey.

Australian shares fell notably, dragged down by banks after the country’s prudential regulator announced the launch of an inquiry into Commonwealth Bank of Australia following allegations the bank breached laws to combat money laundering and terrorism funding.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 34 points or 0.59 percent to 5,709.90 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 32.20 points or 0.55 percent at 5,771.20.

Commonwealth Bank shares fell 1.3 percent while the other three big banks ended down between 0.5 percent and 1.8 percent.

Weakness in base metal prices weighed on miners, with Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group losing 1.2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Oil stocks posted broad-based gains as investors digested the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the U.S. oil industry.

Seoul stocks ended in the red after Samsung Electronics Group’s de-facto head Jae Y. Lee was sentenced to five years in jail for bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a massive corruption…

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