Asian markets remained under pressure Wednesday as a reported nuclear test by North Korea heightened concerns for investors already fretting over the slowdown in China. But markets in China bucked the trend to finish solidly higher.
Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, said in his afternoon note that "China fears have again dominated Asian markets today," before the North Korean nuclear test "added a touch of Armageddon fears to the markets as well."
Reports emerged of a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in North Korea near a nuclear testing site. North Korea's state-owned television station later said that the country conducted a successful hydrogen nuclear test and said that it won't give up nuclear capability unless the U.S. drops its hostile foreign policy towards the country.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported the country's intelligence agency said North Korea gave no advance notice of nuclear tests to China or the United States.
Shrugging off continued concerns about tepid Chinese economic data, the Shanghai Composite finished up 74.58 points, or 2.27 percent, at 3,362.28, while the Shenzhen Composite tacked on 54.18 points, or 2.605 percent, to 2,133.96.
Other major markets ended the session in the red, with the Kospi down 5.10 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,925.43. The Nikkei 225 was down 182.68 points, or 0.99 percent, at 18,191.32, while the ASX 200 saw a 61.3-point loss, or a 1.18 percent fall, to 5,123.13.