ASIA MARKETS: Nikkei, Shanghai Indexes Manage Small Wins As Market Mood Shifts Downward

By Ese Erheriene Features Dow Jones Newswires

Hong Kong's Hang Seng finishes in the red

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A widely lower start to Asian stock trading became a little less so as Thursday went on as bulls rested amid a global pause to this month's equities strength.

Disappointing quarterly reports from the likes of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) CMG and Boeing (BA) weighed on stocks Wednesday, bringing at least a momentary pause to this month's strong global gains.

Additionally, investors displayed caution ahead of anticipated comments from the European Central Bank later Thursday on scaling down bond purchases. ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference is "about the only thing that matters today," said Prakash Sakpal, an Asia economist at ING.

Read:Mario Draghi needs to avoid a 'taper tantrum' when the ECB meets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mario-draghi-needs-to-avoid-a-taper-tantrum-when-the-ecb-meets-2017-10-23)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mario-draghi-needs-to-avoid-a-taper-tantrum-when-the-ecb-meets-2017-10-23)And:Why Italy faces worst shock in Europe as ECB prepares to taper bond buys (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-italy-faces-worst-shock-in-europe-as-ecb-prepares-to-taper-bond-buys-2017-10-24)

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In China, stocks rose after early softness that had followed the unveiling of members of the country's top governing body on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite finished up 0.3%.

But in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.4%.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.2%, reversing some of a late selloff Wednesday that ended the index's record 16-day winning streak. A firmer yen capped Thursday's stock gains, as some financial names jumped in anticipation of further U.S. interest-rate increases. Daiwa Securities (8601.TO) climbed 5.4% and Nomura (8604.TO) rose 2.7%.

New Zealand's benchmark closed down 0.4% after ending a 15-day winning streak Wednesday. It was the index's biggest drop in six weeks. Fletcher Building (FBU.NZ) weighed on the index with a 2.7% decline, extending Wednesday's drop of 2.7%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 06:27 ET (10:27 GMT)