Asian Shares Mostly Higher As Fed Rate Hike Bets Cool

Asian stocks rose broadly on Monday as weak U.S. retail sales and inflation data served to cool Fed rate hike speculation and data showed the Chinese economy grew more than expected in the second quarter. The Japanese markets were closed for the Marine Day holiday.

Chinese shares tumbled as a series of profit warnings from small-cap companies and the government’s focus on increased regulatory scrutiny overshadowed encouraging GDP data.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 45.95 points or 1.43 percent to 3,176.46 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 85 points or 0.32 percent at 26,473 in late trade.

China’s GDP grew 6.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics said . That was unchanged from the previous quarter and exceeded expectations for a rise of 6.8 percent.

On a quarterly basis, GDP growth stood at 1.7 percent – in line with expectations and up from 1.3 percent in the previous three months.

Retail sales jumped an annual 11.0 percent in June, beating forecasts for 10.6 percent and up from 10.7 percent in May, while industrial output climbed 7.6 percent from last year, topping expectations for an increase of 6.5 percent. Fixed asset investment gained an annual 8.6 percent – unchanged from the previous month and beating forecasts for 8.5 percent.

Australian shares ended a choppy session slightly lower as banks lost ground, offsetting gains in the material and energy sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 9.60 points or 0.17 percent to 5,755.50 while the broader All Ordinaries index finished down 7.90 points or 0.14 percent at 5,800.80.

The big four banks fell between 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent ahead of this week’s APRA announcement of new capital rules for major banks. Insurer Medibank Private tumbled 3.8 percent and Insurance Australia Group declined 0.9 percent while investment bank Macquarie Group closed marginally higher.

Telecom giant Telstra fell 1.9 percent on concerns that its dividend may…

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