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Title: Asian Stocks Tread Water, Petrochina Surges on Spinoff Report

Aug 19, 2022 01:53AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Asian stocks didn't move much on Friday as hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve affected risk appetite, while Petro China rose on news that it plans to spin off its marketing business.

After hawkish overnight comments from several Fed members suggested the central bank intends to continue raising rates quickly, most Asian bourses moved less than 0.5% in either direction.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly warned of a possible 75 basis-point rate hike by the central bank during its September meeting.

This was after the minutes of the Fed's recent meeting showed that a majority of the rate-setting committee members supported a sharp increase in interest rates.

Asian bourses opened unchanged following the news, giving Wall Street indices a muted advance.

Chinese stocks fell slightly, with the blue-chip Shanghai CSI 300 index down 0.4%.

Shares of Petro China, the country's biggest oil and gas producer, jumped nearly 2 percent. Bloomberg reported that the company plans to spin off its marketing and trading activities into a separate exchange.

The business is one of the company's biggest sources of cash. Petro China’s parent company, China National Petroleum Corp, is reportedly seeking proposals for the spin-off option.

Chinese stocks were expected to end the week lower as concerns about slowing economic growth in the country and a potential deterioration in relations with the United States over Taiwan weakened local markets.

A profit warning from property developer Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd. on Thursday also drove down shares of real estate companies and raised further concerns about the beleaguered sector.

Australian stocks were unchanged on Friday. Newcrest Mining Ltd, the country's biggest gold miner, outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 index, rising nearly 4 percent after reporting a better-than-expected annual profit.

The gold miner also forecast strong production numbers for 2023.

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