Asia Lower on China Data

Shares in Asia-Pacific were largely lower on Wednesday, as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data.

The Nikkei 225 faded 158.39 points, or 0.5%, to 30,511.71.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.52 per U.S. dollar, having strengthened yesterday from around 110.1 against the greenback.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dumped 469.02 points, or 1.8%, to 25,033.21, falling more than 1% for the third straight session.

Casino stocks listed in the city plunged amid fears over tighter regulations as Macao kicked off a public gaming consultation. Shares of Wynn Macau plummeted 29%, while Sands China plunged more than 32%. Galaxy Entertainment Group dropped around 20%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7323, still struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $0.74.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 49.84 points, or 1% to 4,867.32.

Data released Wednesday showed China’s retail sales growing at a much lower pace than expected in August. The retail sales print for the month grew 2.5%, against a 7% growth forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

Industrial production growth also came in below expectations, rising 5.3% in August against predictions of 5.8% growth.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index moved up 4.57 points, or 0.2%, to 3,153.40

In Singapore, the Straits Times parted with 21.76 points, or 0.7%, to 3,058.61

In Taiwan, the Taiex index fell 80.9 points, or 0.5%, to 17,354

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 9.3 points, or 0.1%, to 13,099.30

In Australia, the ASX 200 subtracted 20.27 points, or 0.3%, at 7,417.03