Asian shares lower after tech-driven rally on Wall Street

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Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Tuesday as investors awaited the release of Chinese trade data.

An overnight rally on Wall Street, driven mainly by technology companies such as Apple and Amazon, faded amid worries over U.S. economic stimulus and a resurgence of coronavirus caseloads in many countries.

Shares fell in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul but rose in Sydney. Hong Kong’s market was closed for a typhoon.

Chinese state media reported that exports jumped 10.2% in yuan, or renminbi, terms in September from a year earlier, while imports rose 4.3%, according to the General Administration of Customs. Dollar-based figures were due later in the day.

Traders were keeping an eye on the Chinese currency after the central bank scrapped a requirement for currency traders to post cash deposits, opening the way for more negative speculation on the country’s yuan, which might help to restrain its rise in value.

The change took effect Monday and eliminates a requirement imposed in 2018 for a 20% deposit on yuan trades to discourage speculators.

The recovery of the world’s second biggest economy has been a rare bright spot as investors wait to see if the U.S. Congress will manage to provide further economic aid for Americans and businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. With caseloads in the U.S., Europe and many other countries gaining pace, risks of further disruptions to trade, business and other daily activities are rising in some regions.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1% lower to 23,525.64, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.6% to 3,339.76. South Korea’s Kospi also gave up 0.6% to 2,388.96. Shares were mostly lower in Southeast Asia.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.9% to 6,188.50, led by banks’ shares. Strong Chinese demand is good news for Australian exporters, though unconfirmed reports that Beijing is slowing