Asian stock markets muted as China industrial production data awaited

MANILA, Philippines – Asian stock markets were muted Tuesday amid some profit taking and ahead of Chinese data on industrial production and retail sales.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.4 per cent to 15,592.67. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1 per cent to 23,790.16 while China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.2 per cent to 2,242.07. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.5 per cent at 1,991.49.

Evan Lucas, strategist as IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia, said some investors were locking in profits after two days of gains and also waiting for Chinese and U.S. economic data.

China is expected to release industrial production, auto sales and other indicators later Tuesday that should give an indication whether the third quarter’s uptick in economic growth is continuing.

On Wall Street, the stock market notched another record close Monday after a big acquisition in the food industry and hope for a longer-term budget deal in Washington.

The S&P 500 climbed 3.28 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,808.37. That put the index a point above its previous record close of 1,807.23 set November 27. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.33 points, less than 0.1 per cent, to 16,025.53. The Nasdaq composite increased 6.23 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,068.75

In energy markets, benchmark crude for January delivery was up 30 cents to $97.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 31 cents to $97.64 on Monday.

The euro rose to $1.3757 from 1.3736 late Monday in New York. The dollar fell to 103.26 from 103.27 yen.