Asia Markets

Stocks in Japan rebound following earlier tumble amid global growth worries

Key Points
  • The Nikkei 225 rose more than 2 percent on the day, while mainland China shares slipped.
  • The wider MSCI Asia-ex Japan index was fractionally higher, as of 3:17 p.m. HK/SIN.
  • Overnight on Wall Street, stocks had a tepid finish as concerns over the global economy lingered.

Stocks in Japan bounced back partially on Tuesday after the previous day's heavy losses as concerns over the global economy weighed on investor sentiment.

Following its Monday tumble, the Nikkei 225 rose 2.15 percent to close at 21,428.39, with shares of robot maker and index heavyweight Fanuc gaining 1.70 percent. The Topix index also added 2.57 percent to end its trading day at 1,617.94..

Nintendo saw its stock surge 4.76 percent on the day following a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal that it is set to launch new models of its Switch video game console later this year.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was fractionally higher at 522.41 as of 3:17 p.m. HK/SIN.

Mainland Chinese shares closed lower, with the Shanghai composite slipping 1.51 percent to 2,997.10 and the Shenzhen component declining 1.94 percent to 9,513.00. The Shenzhen composite declined 2.176 percent to 1,639.94.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.19 percent in its final hour of trading.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.18 percent higher at 2,148.80. Shares of Samsung Electronics slipped 0.55 percent after the company issued a warning on its first-quarter earnings.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose as the rose fractionally to close at 6,130.60.

Stocks of Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers dropped 3.51 percent after the company announced a bid for embattled rare earths miner Lynas, whose own stock was earlier placed on a trading halt. For its part, Lynas shares skyrocketed 35.05 percent on the day following its return to trade.

The developments came as Lynas' shares have dragged along near 18-month lows as it faces hurdles over environmental license in Malaysia where its chemicals plant is located, according to Reuters.

"Share markets are due a correction or pullback after rallying strongly since their December lows and worries about inverted yields curves and the growth outlook could provide the trigger," Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, said in a note.

Oliver did add, however, that "US and global recession still looks to be a fair way off and we continue to see this being a reasonably good year for shares."

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks had a tepid finish as concerns over the global economy lingered.

Worries over the global economic outlook were stoked on Friday and lingered through Monday after the yield curve inverted for the first time in more than a decade. The 3-month Treasury bill yield topped its 10-year counterpart on Friday, thus inverting the yield curve.

Investors consider this to be a signal that a recession may be coming soon. Disappointing economic data released Friday out of Europe, coupled with a downgraded economic outlook from the Federal Reserve, exacerbated those concerns.

The yield curve inverted again on Monday as the benchmark 10-year yield hit its lowest level since December 2017.

"I think for the foreseeable future, the Fed will be on the sidelines, which will anchor yields not only in the U.S. but globally," Omar Slim, senior vice president of fixed income at PineBridge Investments Singapore, told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Tuesday.

As a result, Slim said, the interest rate environment in the near term was likely to be "very benign."

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.559 after slipping from highs above 96.6 yesterday.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 110.10 against the dollar after seeing highs below 109.9 in the previous session, while the Australian dollar traded at $0.7122 after rising from lows below $0.708 yesterday.

Oil prices gained in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude futures contract adding 0.46 percent to $67.52 per barrel and U.S. crude futures rising 0.94 percent to $59.37 per barrel.

— Reuters and CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.