Investing.com - Asian shares trended lower on Tuesday with attention focused on growth prospects for China where hopes for government stimulus appear unlikely.
In morning Asian trade, Japan''s Nikkei 225 fell 0.35% and South Korea''s KOSPI slipped 0.1%, while Australia''s S&P/ASX200 (KSMASX200.TA) fell 0.5%.
Bank of Japan data released Tuesday showed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is having trouble getting companies to put their large cash piles to work in the economy. Currency and deposits held by private-sector companies excluding financial firms as of the end of December were up 6.4% from a year earlier at ¥222 trillion ($2.17 trillion).
Hong Kong''s Hang Seng index fell 0.12% with economists at Reorient Financial Markets in Hong Kong warning investors that an intervention from the Chinese government to tackle slowing growth was unlikely. "China''s new leaders have proved on several occasions that they will not be nervously diverted from their course of action by minor setbacks," the economists wrote.
Overnight, U.S. factory data missed expectations, while a selloff in the biotech sector sent the technology-heavy Nasdaq falling sharply. The Dow Jones Composite Composite fell 0.16%, the S&P 500fell 0.49%.
Markit Economics reported earlier that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 55.5 in March from a final reading of 57.1 in February. Analysts were expecting the index to dip to 56.5 in March.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction, though stocks fell on fears the U.S. economy still faces headwinds on its road to recovery.
Stocks also fell on concerns that sanctions slapped on Russia by the West over the Ukraine crisis may hamper global recovery by pushing the country close to a recession.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX EURO STOXX Select Div. 30 (FD3D) fell 1.49%, while Germany''s DAX fell 1.65%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.56%.
On Tuesday, the U.S. is to release report on house price inflation and consumer confidence, as well as official data on new home sales.
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