Investors shying away from risk for time being
Stocks in Asia were mostly down Wednesday as investors shied away from risk amid a slump in commodities and oil prices.
The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -1.34% sank 1.7%, weighed by losses in energy and basic materials shares. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.20% fell 0.6%, hit by weakness in shares of oil producers.
Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -0.84% lost 1.4% and Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.35% was essentially flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.96% rose 0.3%.
“We’re seeing tepid trading as people are locking positions in place where they’re ready for tomorrow night,” said Evan Lucas, a market strategist for IG, an Australian brokerage. Such trades include shorting the euro and taking long positions in the yen and U.S. dollar, he added.
Brent crude-oil prices were last trading down 0.2% to $39.55 per barrel.
Write to Dominique Fong at Dominique.Fong@wsj.com