Japan stocks lead Asia lower after dismal economic report; China stocks up on share link debut

Energy Associated Press

Japanese shares led most Asian stock indexes lower Monday after preliminary quarterly economic data showed the country returned to recession. Chinese stocks, however, rose after the debut as global investors took advantage of a landmark cross-border trading link that made its debut and which allows greater outside access to the country's markets.

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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 3 percent to 16,973.80 while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent to 1,943.63. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.7 percent to 23,917.58 but in mainland China the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 2,480.97 after earlier strong gains. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.8 percent to 5,412.50.

JAPAN WOES: Preliminary data showed that Japan's economy, the second biggest in Asia, turned in a worse-than-expected performance in the July-September period by shrinking 1.6 percent. The result, which follows a 7.1 percent contraction in the previous quarter, muddies the outlook for the global recovery and raises the likelihood the government will delay a planned raise in the sales tax next year.

CHINA LINK: Investors based in Hong Kong piled in to mainland Chinese after shares the launch of a cross-border trading link, pushing up Shanghai shares until the daily quota was exhausted. The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect opens the way for greater investor access to each other's exchanges but interest was clearly greater in shares listed on the mainland, where access to outsiders has been tightly restricted. Until now only a small group of designated fund managers have been granted a quota to buy China shares.

WALL STREET: On Friday the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to close at a record high of 2,039.82. The Dow slipped 0.1 percent, to 17,634.74 and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 percent to 4,688.54.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 115.70 yen from 116.29 in late trading Friday. The euro rose to $1.2539 from $1.2523.

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ENERGY: Oil prices slipped, with benchmark crude for U.S. delivery slipping 48 cents to $75.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.61 to close at $75.82 on Friday.