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Asia stocks turn mixed as China reverses losses

Asian stocks turned mixed on Tuesday as mainland markets reversed their losses but lower oil prices still weighed on regional resource firms.

Traders paid attention to Chinese industrial profits data for hints on the chances of further monetary stimulus following Beijing's interest rate cut on Friday. Profits slipped 0.1 percent on year in September, from an 8.8 percent tumble in the previous month, but despite the monthly improvement, economists were pessimistic.

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"Persistent slowdown in sales revenue and profits could feed into financial distress in heavily-indebted manufacturing firms, which we fear potentially cascading into the banking system," ING said in a morning note. "Averting such a hard-landing scenario depends on sustaining strong manufacturing growth and banking system liquidity. The policy easing already implemented and the scope for further easing make a soft landing the baseline scenario."

Meanwhile, oil prices extended losses with U.S. crude more than 1 percent lower and Brent crude down 0.8 percent.

Overnight, major U.S. averages finished mixed, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 down 0.1 and 0.2 percent respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite finished a tad above the flat-line.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Shanghai up 0.1%

China's major averages erased losses in the last hour of trade, with the Shanghai Composite, Shenzhen Composite and Chinext all in positive territory after sliding as much as 2-3 percent earlier.

Gold miners Shandong Gold and Zhongjin Gold lost 0.4 and 1 percent respectively, as prices of the yellow metal traded flat, while oil majors PetroChina and Sinopec fell nearly 1 percent each.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed 0.11 percent higher, but gaming stocks were down. Wynn Macau and Galaxy Entertainment both finished the day in the red.

Nikkei slips 0.9%

Japan's Nikkei 225 deepened its losses, retreating from Monday's near two-month closing high.

Apple suppliers Murata Manufacturing and TDK fell 4 percent each ahead of the U.S. tech giant's earnings report later on Tuesday.

In the oil space, Inpex and JX Holdings fell more than 3 percent each.

Seven & I Holdings surged 3 percent after Reuters reported that U.S. hedge fund Third Point bought a stake in the Japanese retailer and wants the company to downsize its general merchandise business to improve profitability.

ASX flat

Australia's S&P ASX 200 index barely moved in quiet trade after touching a ten-week high of 5,384 points in the previous session.

Woodside Petroleum and Beach Energy tanked 2.5 and 7 percent respectively, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto lost 1 and 2 percent respectively.

Pension services firm Link Group, Australia's biggest initial public offering so far this year, spiked as much as 11 percent on its market debut.

Kospi drops 0.2%

South Korea's Kospi index moved further away from Friday's three-month high of 2,054 points. Refiners S-Oil and GS Holdings dropped more than 1 percent each.

Jakarta slides 0.4%

Profit-taking hit Indonesia's benchmark index after it closed at a more than two-month high in the previous session.