China's Shenzhen stocks down 2% in mixed Asia trade; EV maker Xpeng plunges more than 10%

A woman walks by the gate of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on August 20, 2020 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific shares were mixed on Wednesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posted their third day of losses in the U.S.

Mainland China markets slipped. The Shenzhen Component led losses regionally, tumbling 2.88% to end the session at 12,096.39. The Shanghai Composite was 1.86% lower to close at 3,215.20.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.07% in the final hour of trade, with the Hang Seng Tech index losing 2.72%. Electric vehicle maker Xpeng plunged more than 12% after it reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.49% lower at 28,313.47 and the Topix also ended the session 0.22% lower at 1,967.18.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.52% to 6,998.1 while South Korea's Kospi was up 0.5% at 2,447.45 and the Kosdaq advanced 1.24% to 793.14.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow slipped 154.02 points, or 0.47%, to 32,909.59. The S&P 500 dropped 0.22% to 4,128.73, and the Nasdaq Composite was slightly lower at 12,381.30.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari pointed towards supply-side shocks driving "half to two-thirds" of the nation's high inflation.

"The more help we get from the supply side, the less the Fed has to do, and the better we're able to avoid a hard landing," he said, speaking at an event at the University of Pennsylvania. He did add, however, there's some evidence that supply chains are beginning to normalize.

Thailand's SET briefly gives up gains as court orders Prime Minister to be suspended from duties

Thailand's Constitutional Court ordered the nation's Prime Minister to be suspended from his duties while it reviews a petition claiming he's overstayed his legal term in office, Reuters reported.

The court announced it would hear a petition brought by the main opposition party that claims Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's legally mandated eight-year term limit should include his time spent as the head of a military junta, the report said.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan will take over as interim leader, a government official said earlier in the week, according to Reuters.

The SET index briefly gave up earlier gains after the announcement, but was last 0.2% higher.

Loading chart...

–Jihye Lee

Japanese power stocks soar on reports of restarting nuclear reactors

Share prices of Japanese electricity production companies climbed after Nikkei reported that the government is aiming to restart more nuclear reactors.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed the reports in a briefing, saying that his administration also discussed developing next-generation reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) rose nearly 10% by mid-afternoon trade while others such as Kansai Electric Power, Tohoku Electric Power and Hokkaido Electric Power (HEPCO) also gained between 2% and 3%.

Japan has ten full-service electric power companies.

— Su-Lin Tan

Ping An is 'not an activist investor,' co-CEO says, despite pressure on HSBC

Ping An Group names three key challenges it faces
Ping An Group names three key challenges it faces

Ping An Insurance Group is not an activist investor, co-CEO Jessica Tan told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" when asked about the company's call on HSBC to spin off its Asia business.

"We support any proposal that will actually improve shareholder value in the long term," she said. "We are not an activist investor, but we do care very much about long term value."

Ping An Asset Management is the largest shareholder of HSBC Holdings, and owns 8.3% of the bank, according to data from Refinitiv.

On Tuesday, Ping An reported a 3.9% rise in profit in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021. Ping An's Hong Kong-listed shares were up more than 2%, while the broader Hang Seng index was down 1.1%.

— Abigail Ng

Shares of India's NDTV surge on Adani's announcement of takeover bid

Shares of New Delhi Television surged at the Sensex open to 4.99% following an announcement that India's richest man is seeking to control a majority stake of the company, marking a 12-year high.

A unit of the Adani Group used financial rights in a bid to buy a 29.18% stake in NDTV, the company said, adding that the company also proposed an offer for another 26% stake in the media company.

NDTV said in a filing that the move was "carried out without any consent from" its founders.

Loading chart...

NDTV is considered as one of the few media groups that often takes a critical view of the ruling administration's policies. It runs three national channels: NDTV 24x7 in English, NDTV India in Hindi and a business news channel.

Adani said its subsequent open offer would be for 294 Indian rupees ($3.68) per NDTV share, which would be worth 4.93 billion rupees ($86 million).

—Charmaine Jacob

Chinese EV makers slide in Hong Kong trade, Xpeng at new lows after missing estimates

Shares of electric car makers listed in Hong Kong plunged after Xpeng reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss of 2.7 billion Chinese yuan ($394 million), missing analyst estimates.

The print was also worse than the 1.19 billion Chinese yuan loss reported in the second quarter of 2021.

Xpeng's stock plunged more than 13%, reaching new lows since its debut in Hong Kong last year. Its U.S.-listed shares fell 10% during the session on Tuesday.

Loading chart...

Li Auto's shares dropped 6.6% and Nio slipped 5.19% in Hong Kong. Geely Auto fell more than 4% and BYD also fell 5.49%. Nio is slated to report earnings later in the day, while Li Auto reported earnings earlier in August.

— Abigail Ng

Singapore's travel stocks muted after announcement that unvaccinated travelers can skip quarantine

Singapore's travel-related stocks were muted after its government announced the city-state will allow unvaccinated travelers to skip quarantine on arrival starting Monday.

Singapore Airlines shares were flat, while airport services firm Sats was down as much as 0.48% in morning trade.

Currently, non-vaccinated long-term visitors and short-term visitors aged 13 and above are required to apply for entry approval to enter Singapore. This requirement will also be lifted on Monday.

— Jihye Lee

South Korean automakers trading lower after U.S. recalls more than 280,000 vehicles over fire risks

Korean automakers are trading lower after the U.S. government issued a recall of more than 280,000 of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited fire risks and advised drivers to "park their cars outside and away from homes."

Hyundai Motor was down 1.3% in early morning trade and Kia was down 1.4%. Hyundai Mobis was also trading 3.08% lower.

The agency issued a "stop sale" notice overnight, saying an electrical short "can cause a vehicle fire while driving or while parked and turned off."

The agency added however that there are no confirmed fires, crashes or injuries related to those risks at this time.

–Jihye Lee

First in-person IPEF ministerial meeting to be held in LA next month

The U.S. will host the first in-person ministerial meeting for its newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in Los Angeles on September 8 and 9.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will co-host the meeting.

"The first in-person Ministerial builds on the constructive virtual meetings with 13 Indo-Pacific partners held this year before and after President Biden officially launched the IPEF to develop a high-standard and inclusive economic framework that will … benefit workers and consumers across the region," the pair said in a statement on Monday.

Previous virtual sessions have been held in May, June and July.

Discussions next month will revolve around the four pillars of IPEF which include trade and supply chains, the statement says.

The framework, which is not a trade deal, serves as the U.S.'s pivot back into Asia Pacific. It is also seen as a means to counter China's economic rise.

IPEF, which is largely seen as symbolic, is made up of Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and the U.S.

— Su-Lin Tan

Australian dollar, Japanese yen weaker against the dollar after overnight moves

The Australian dollar weakened early in Asia, after it sharply rose overnight on a softer dollar.

The Aussie was trading at $0.6910, following a jump above $0.6950.

"A weaker USD and higher commodity prices likely contributed to AUD gains," Carol Kong, a senior associate for international economics and currency strategy at Commonwealth Bank, wrote in a note.

The dollar index fell after the August flash readings for S&P Global's Purchasing Managers Index missed expectations, and last stood at 108.695.

Japan's yen was at 136.87 per dollar after strengthening to 135.93 overnight.

— Abigail Ng

Morgan Stanley says the 'smart' EV industry is tech's next big thing. Here are its top stock picks

Morgan Stanley says tech supply chains are about to experience growth in the next big thing: smart tech features — from EV batteries to chips and self-driving tech.

The investment bank named its top stock picks that's set to benefit from this trend.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Weizhen Tan

Fed's Kashkari says his biggest fear is inflation will be more persistent or hotter than anticipated

Federal Reserve bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari says his biggest fear is that markets are underestimating how high inflation will go or how persistent it would be, adding that the Fed might need to be more aggressive than anticipated.

"The big fear I have at the back of my mind is if we're wrong and markets are wrong, and that this inflation is much more embedded at a much higher level than we appreciate or markets appreciate," he said, commenting on market expectations of inflation coming back down to 2% within the next two years.

"Then we're going to have to be more aggressive than I anticipate, probably for longer, to bring inflation back down," he said, speaking at an event at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kashkari also pointed towards supply-side shocks driving "half to two-thirds" of the nation's high inflation.

"The more help we get from the supply side, the less the Fed has to do, and the better we're able to avoid a hard landing," he said. He did add, however, there's some evidence that supply chains are beginning to normalize.

Kashkari is already considered the most hawkish of the U.S. central bank's 19 policymakers, and expects the Fed to need to lift its policy rate — now at a target range of 2.25% to 2.5% — another two full percentage points by the end of next year.

–Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Citi names the energy stock with the 'strongest balance sheet'

The energy sector has been a big winner in this year's volatile stock market.

But one stock still stands out for its "strongest balance sheet," according to Citi. It also delivered a set of second-quarter earnings that handily beat its major listed peers.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Zavier Ong

Sign up for CNBC's newsletter here: