Asian markets were mostly lower today (August 19th), over concerns about the volatility of the Chinese stock market and uncertainty over the outcome of the release of the US Federal Reserve minutes.
The Shanghai Composite Index has continued to decline today, falling five per cent at one point, but reversed its loss to finish 1.2 per cent higher. The gain comes a day after plunging six per cent as investors sold Chinese stocks fearing that the Chinese yuan may fall further.
The volatility of Chinese stocks and the health of the world's second largest economy weighed on investors' minds in Asia. Many fear that the market could tumble further.
But Angus Nicholson, a market strategist at IG, believes that Beijing will do what it takes to stabilise the market: "Given China's drastic interventions in the market since June, it would be highly unlikely for the government to let the index plummet," he said.
Investors also awaited the Federal Reserve's minutes from its July meeting due later today, expected to provide some clues about the timing of a US interest rates.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.2 per cent up at 3,794.11 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5 per cent to 5,380.20. Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.6 per cent to 20,222.63 and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 per cent to 1,939.38. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.3 per cent at 23,167.85.
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