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Asian stocks tumble as renewed bank rout outweighs China optimism



© Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick — Asian stock markets retreated on Thursday as bank shares faced renewed selling on fears of a global borrowing crisis, although an upbeat outlook on the Chinese economy helped limit losses in some regional markets.

Regional stocks also trimmed some losses after beleaguered Swiss lender Credit Suisse Group AG (SIX:) said it will from the Swiss National Bank to support liquidity, which helped ease concerns over an imminent banking collapse.

China’s and indexes fell the least among their Asian peers, losing 0.5% each after investment bank Goldman Sachs hiked its economic growth outlook for the country to 6% from 5.5%.

The bank cited improving trends after the country reopened from three years of COVID lockdowns, and said that Asia’s largest economy was primed for a rebound this year. This, coupled with recent data that showed a steady, albeit mixed economic recovery in the country, helped spur some optimism.

But China was a relatively bright spot in an otherwise largely negative market. Hong Kong’s index slid 1.5% as a rout in bank stocks spilled over into technology, while the index and South Korea’s lost 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively.

Japan’s index was also among the worst performers for the day, losing 1.1% with major financial stocks facing renewed selling pressure. Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc (TYO:), Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE:) Financial (TYO:) and T&D Holdings Inc (TYO:) were among the worst performers on the Nikkei, losing between 5.8% and 7%.

Australia’s index also sank 1.5% on losses in the country’s big four bank stocks. A stronger-than-expected for February also pushed up concerns over by the Reserve Bank.

While a rout in Asian markets had briefly paused on Wednesday, renewed concerns over a global banking crisis, triggered by a rout in the shares of Credit Suisse, saw markets resume their descent on Thursday.

Investors largely pivoted out of risk-heavy assets and into safe havens such as and the . Uncertainty over the path of U.S. monetary policy also weighed, following signs that core consumer inflation remained sticky in February.

led losses across risk-heavy Southeast Asian markets with a 1.6% fall, while India’s and indexes fell 0.6% each.

Data on Wednesday showed that unexpectedly shrank in February, aided largely by a dip in oil prices.

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