Asia Markets

China shares finish up in a mixed Asian session

Key Points
  • Major indexes in Shanghai and Shenzhen gained by the close of market in China but markets in Japan, South Korea and Australia declined. 
  • The session in Asia followed after major stock indexes on Wall Street seeing a sell-off overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging by more than 600 points.

Stocks in Asia mostly declined on the back of the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by more than 600 points overnight.

Markets in mainland China held on to earlier gains during the trading session. The Shanghai composite rose 0.93 percent to close at 2,654.88 while the Shenzhen composite advanced 1.628 percent to about 1,383.92.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was largely flat during the final hour of trade.

In other major Asian markets, stocks mainly saw losses.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.06 percent to close at 21,810.52 while the Topix index saw losses of 2 percent to finish the trading day at 1,638.45. Shares of Apple supplier Japan Display plunged 9.52 percent after the company reported its sixth straight quarterly operating loss and lowered its outlook, according to Reuters.

The losses spilled over to South Korea, where the Kospi shed 0.44 percent to close at 2,071.23. Shares of industry heavyweights saw a sharp pullback, as Samsung Electronics lost 1.55 percent while SK Hynix dropped 3.49 percent.

Down Under, the fell 1.8 percent to close at 5,834.2, with almost all sectors seeing losses. Energy stocks fell 1.91 percent while the heavily weighted financial subindex saw losses of 2.22 percent.

Shares of Australia's so-called Big Four banks saw sharp declines: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 1.22 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 1.21 percent and National Australia Bank was lower by 1.53 percent. Westpac saw the largest percentage decline among the four, falling by 5.41 percent.

"The topside optimism the markets experienced after getting through the US midterms relatively unscathed has quickly reverted back to concern over trade issues between the US and China and the affect that tariffs and protectionist policies have had on overall global growth," said Rakuten Securities Australia in a morning note.

Wall Street sell-off

In overnight market action on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 602 points to close at 25,387.18 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.8 percent to 7,200.87 by the closing bell. The also saw losses of 2 percent to close at 2,726.22.

In late-afternoon trading, the major indexes hit their lows of the day after Bloomberg News reported the White House was circulating a draft report on auto tariffs.

Axios reported that President Donald Trump thinks threatening more tariffs on overseas-made cars is his best negotiating tactic on trade. The report said Trump has told aides he was able to get a better trade deal with Canada because he threatened Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with levies on cars made in Canada.

Trump has considered slapping a 25 percent charge on cars made outside the U.S. since earlier in the year.

The Axios report comes ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.518 after its rally from around the 97 handle yesterday.

The dollar's recent strength has raised concerns among some investors over its impact on earnings growth.

Meanwhile, the Japanese yen, which is widely seen as a safe haven currency, was at 113.94 against the greenback, after strengthening from levels above 114.1 in the previous session. The Australian dollar traded at $0.7205 after sliding from levels above $0.723 yesterday.

In the oil market, U.S. crude futures continued to see declines after posting its 11th straight loss on Monday — its longest streak on record. The U.S. crude futures contract declined 1.28 percent in the afternoon of Asian trade at $59.16 per barrel. The global benchmark Brent crude futures contract also declined 0.97 percent at $69.44 per barrel.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.