Three-day losing streak in Hong Kong shares; banks push Australian market higher

<p>Despite a positive lead from Wall Street overnight, Asian markets fell today with the Nikkei 225 down 0.2% and the Hang Seng down 0.6%. Declines […]</p>

Despite a positive lead from Wall Street overnight, Asian markets fell today with the Nikkei 225 down 0.2% and the Hang Seng down 0.6%.

Declines in Hong Kong today means the Hang Seng is headed for a three-day losing streak as property developers and raw material producers dropped after China raised interest rates for a third time since mid-October.

China Resources Land and Hang Lung Properties declined at least 2.7%. Furthermore, Jiangxi Copper, the nation’s largest producer of metal slid at 1.6% on speculation demand for commodities will drop as Beijing steps up efforts to fight inflation.

In Japan, the Oil and Gas sector was the hardest hit, down approximately 1.6%. The lift in interest rates spread to the machine makers which fell on fears Chinese growth will slow. Komatsu Ltd, an earthmover maker that receives approximately 22% of sales from China, slid 1.3%.

In Australia, the big four banks led the charge and pushed the overall market higher. Though gains were pared in the afternoon, the market closed in positive territory with most of the big bank shares trading over 2 per cent higher today.


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