ASIA MARKETS: Japan's Nikkei Breaks 16-session Winning Streak; Chinese Stocks Climb As Xi Re-elected

By Kenan Machado and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

The loss in Tokyo marks the first this month

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Japanese shares ended their record-smashing winning streak on Wednesday, suffering a loss for the first time in October. Chinese stocks closed higher after President Xi Jinping was appointed to another five-year term as the country's leader.

Equity markets in Asia have been hovering around multiyear or record highs, thanks to progress on tax reforms in the U.S., improved prospects for its economy, as well as upbeat earnings estimates.

The Nikkei Stock Average was up as much as 0.5% early in the session, lifted by gains in shares of Japanese insurers and a weaker yen, but the index soon pared gains and ended down 0.5% at 21,707.62.

The Nikkei had been up for 16 straight sessions through Tuesday, having not logged a day down so far this month.

Hong Kong's benchmark index advanced as China's new lineup of leaders was named. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% to close at 28,302.89 from its lowest close of October, and its top gainers were Chinese companies, namely consumer and energy shares.

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Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.3% higher at 3,396.90, while Shenzhen Composite Index added 0.8% to 2,025.32.

The newly unveiled membership of the top decision-making body of China's Communist Party includes close allies of President Xi Jinping, ensuring his dominance for at least the next five years.

Analysts cautioned however about the near-term outlook for Chinese equities, as state-backed funds' politically motivated support could be withdrawn after the party congress.

Read:China's Xi elevated to Mao status, setting up at least one additional term in power (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-xi-elevated-to-mao-status-setting-up-at-least-one-additional-term-in-power-2017-10-24)

"Some speculated economic activity would soften [postmeeting]...and fear that the stock market would correct," said Raymond Cheng, head of equity strategy for Asia at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Elsewhere in the region, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1%.

Sara Sjolin contributed to this article

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 25, 2017 04:41 ET (08:41 GMT)