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Bank Fears Revive, Asia Mixed Wednesday

Asia-Pacific markets were trading mixed on Wednesday after banking fears were reignited on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jettisoned 203.6 points, or 0.7%, to 28,416.47.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index regained 139.39 points, or 0.7%, to 19,757.27.

Investors were also watching Australia’s inflation numbers for the first quarter of 2023, which slowed to 7% year-on-year, down from a 23-year high of 7.8% the previous quarter.

Korean markets lost ground, after the country’s consumer sentiment index for April rose to 95.1, compared to 92 in March.

The Bank of America revised downwards South Korea’s 2023 GDP growth forecast to 1.4% year on year from 1.9% previously.

Singapore’s industrial production for March dipped 4.2% year on year, performing better than Reuters’ expectations of a 6.1% fall.

The reading marks the sixth consecutive contraction since October, and comes after November’s figure of an 8.9% drop.

In other markets,

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 3.44 points, or 0.1%, to 3,959.23.

In Korea, the Kospi slipped 4.19 points, or 0.2%, to 2,484.83.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index eked up 3.9 points to 15,374.63.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dipped 2.65 points, or 0.1%, to 3,293.91.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 returned from holiday to drop 91.41 points, or 0.8%, to 11,934.98.

In Australia, the day after ANZAC Day saw the ASX 200 let go of 5.69 points, or 0.1%, to 7,316.30.