Asian Shares Slide On Rising Bond Yields

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 Asian stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday after bond yields jumped in the U.S. and inflation data from China painted a mixed picture of the economy.

The benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasuries rose to a nearly ten-month closing high on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan surprised markets by reducing its purchases of long-dated Japanese bonds.

Consumer prices in China rose an annual 1.8 percent in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That missed expectations for an increase of 1.9 percent but was up from 1.7 percent in November.

The bureau also said that producer prices jumped an annual 4.9 percent, exceeding forecasts for a gain of 4.8 percent but down from 5.8 percent in the previous month.

China's Shanghai Composite index rose 0.23 percent to extend gains for the ninth straight session, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.24 percent at 31,087 in late trade.

Japanese shares ended in the red as traders locked in some profits after recent strong gains. The Nikkei average slid 61.79 points or 0.26 percent to 23,788.20 after hitting a 26-year high in the previous session. The broader Topix index, however, closed 0.15 percent higher at 1,892.11.

Heavyweight Fast Retailing dropped 1.2 percent and chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron retreated 1.7 percent while financials ended broadly higher.

Australian shares gave up early gains to end notably lower, dragged down by miners and property developers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 39.10 points or 0.64 percent to 6,096.70 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 35.60 points or 0.57 percent at 6,205.90.

Rising U.S. Treasury yields weighed on property stocks, with Goodman Group and GPT Group falling around 3 percent each. In the mining sector, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, South32 and BlueScope Steel all fell around 1 percent.

Gold miner Newcrest lost 2.3 percent and Evolution shed 2 percent after gold prices declined overnight. AuMake International fell more than 12 percent after cancelling an A$20 million capital raising due to recent share price volatility.

Seoul stocks closed lower as tech heavyweights succumbed to heavy selling pressure on worries that a memory chip boom could be ending sooner rather than later.

The benchmark Kospi ended down 10.48 points or 0.42 percent at 2,499.75. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics declined 3.1 percent while chipmaker SK Hynix plunged 5.2 percent.

South Korea's unemployment rate decreased slightly at the end of the year, figures from Statistics Korea showed today. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate edged down to 3.6 percent in December from 3.7 percent in November.

New Zealand shares fell sharply as a jump in U.S. bond yields dented demand for top dividend yielding stocks. The benchmark S&P/NZX50 index tumbled 68.33 points or 0.81 percent to finish at 8,364.90. A2 Milk and Genesis Energy ended down about 3 percent each.

Indonesian shares were marginally higher, while benchmark indexes in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were down between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks hit fresh record highs amid optimism about the economic outlook and the upcoming earnings season. The Dow rose 0.4 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the S&P 500 inched up around 0.1 percent each.