Investing.com - Asian stock markets edged higher in choppy trade on Tuesday, with most markets in the region stabilizing after sharp declines in the previous session.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.1%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1%, Australia’s ASX/200 Index closed 0.04% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended up 0.69%.
Asian markets sold off on Monday after data showed that Chinese exports collapsed 18.1% in February from a year earlier.
The significant decline in the nation’s exports led to a deficit of $22.98 billion last month, compared to a surplus of $31.86 billion in January.
Markets in mainland China and Hong Kong rebounded from heavy losses on Tuesday after data showed that Chinese bank lending fell more than expected in February.
The weaker credit growth came after regulators warned that too much growth could threaten the health of the financial system.
In Hong Kong, China CITIC Bank and China Minsheng Bank rose 1% and 0.6%.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, the Nikkei advanced after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy on hold.
The BOJ maintained its pledge to expand the monetary base at a pace of ¥60 trillion to ¥70 trillion per year. The central bank also stuck to the view that economic growth and inflation are proceeding in line with forecasts.
Exporters were higher as the yen weakened against the U.S. dollar, boosting sentiment. Honda rallied 2.9%, Toshiba advanced 1.3%, while index heavyweight Fanuc jumped 2%.
Elsewhere, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index ended little changed as miners came under pressure amid concerns over a slowdown in Chinese demand for raw materials.
Copper and iron ore producers sold off as prices of the metal fell sharply. Atlas Iron and Fortescue Metals Group lost 1.1% and 1.85%, while BHP Billiton dropped 0.65%.
Australian commodity producers are heavily reliant on Chinese demand for raw materials.
Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a mildly higher open. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.4% at the open, France’s CAC 40 futures added 0.3%, London’s FTSE 100 futures indicated a rise of 0.1%, while Germany''s DAX futures inched up 0.35%.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a rise of 0.02%, S&P 500 futures inched up 0.03%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 0.02%.