Asian stocks mixed after growth forecast cut

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday after Wall Street edged down and the World Bank trimmed its forecast of the region's economic growth.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 declined 0.2 percent to 15,855.47 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent to 23,433.49. Seoul's Kospi was up 0.3 percent at 1,973.39. Jakarta rose while Sydney and Singapore fell.

WALL STREET: Stocks fell despite corporate news including Hewlett Packard Co.'s announcement it will split into two companies. The U.S. Federal Reserve was due to release notes on its latest meeting, and investors were looking for signs of when the Fed might raise rates — a move that for now is not expected until mid-2015. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.1. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.5 percent.

WORLD BANK: The World Bank trimmed its growth forecast for developing East Asian economies to 6.9 percent from an outlook of 7.1 percent in April. The bank said China, the region's biggest economy, should grow by 7.2 percent, declining to 7.5 percent next year, as the government tries to shift from reliance on trade and investment to growth driven by domestic consumption.

ANALYST'S VIEW: "Investors are also weighing improving fundamentals in the U.S. versus deteriorating conditions in Asia, especially after the World Bank downgraded growth forecasts in China and developing East Asia yesterday," said Desmond Chua of CMC Markets in a report.

EUROPE: Germany was due to report factory data that were expected to show a contraction in activity in August for the first time in 15 months. Analysts blame weak demand in other Eurozone markets and tensions with Russia that have weighed on trade. Earlier data showed auto production fell sharply in August while business confidence surveys also showed a decline in manufacturing.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 11 cents to $90.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 60 cents on Monday to close at $90.34.

CURRENCIES: The dollar gained to 108.89 yen from Monday's 108.82. The euro edged down to $1.2622 from the previous session's $1.2653.