Asian stocks a bit of a mess, with widespread declines – MarketWatch

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Asian stock markets posted broad declines in early trading Wednesday, after Wall Street finished weakly following a holiday weekend and European markets fell further after a pause on Monday.

There were broad early declines for Japanese stocks, even though the Nikkei NIK, -0.35%   was only down 0.3%. Just five of the Topix’s 33 subindexes were higher. Shippers, airlines and real-estate firms led the declines, with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines 9104, -2.31%   down 2.2% and Mitsui Fudosan 8801, -1.88%   off 2%. Amid trade and emerging-market worries, there’s also the aftermath of Typhoon Jebi, though few stocks appeared affected so far by the damage it caused in Japan.

Jebi, the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years killed at least seven people and inflicted widespread damage to Japan’s west coast, and forced the indefinite closure of one of the country’s largest airports.

After a rebound Tuesday, Hong Kong stocks were underwater again, with tech names leading the pressure. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.65%   was down 1.5%, with Unicom 0762, -1.77%   and China Telecom 0728, -1.03%   both down about 1% after jumping yesterday on the potential of the state-controlled wireless firms merging. Meanwhile, internet giant and index heavyweight Tencent 0700, -2.48%   was down 2.5%, reversing Tuesday’s rebound.

Chinese stocks opened lower after a weeklong losing streak ended Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.92%   was down 0.6% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.72%   fell 0.4%.

Australia’s benchmark XJO, -0.95%   was down some 0.7% despite new data that found the economy posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter GDP growth. Stocks were also down in New Zealand NZ50GR, -0.41%  .

Samsung 005930, -1.15%   sank more than 1%, dragging down South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.21%  . Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.01%  , Singapore STI, -0.81%   and Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.34%   also declined.

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