Asia Markets: Asia stocks retreat broadly Tuesday after strong gains a day earlier

Stocks in Asia were broadly weaker early Tuesday following a China-led rally Monday in many markets. Mainland China stocks were modestly lower, holding up better than most in the region. Shanghai SHCOMP, -1.14%  was about 0.4% lower, while the Shenzhen 399106, -1.17%  was off

Indexes in Japan NIK, -2.19%  , Hong Kong HSI, -1.81%  , Korea SEU, -2.08%  and Taiwan Y9999, -1.35%  fell more than 1%. The declines are outpacing the generally moderate declines seen in the U.S. and Europe to start the week.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index dropped 6% last week, closing just below its long-term average and at its lowest level in more than a year. All components of the survey fell sharply. ANZ’s Head of Australian Economics, David Plank, said the fall brings the index to its lowest level since September 2017. Loss of Liberal stronghold Wentworth may have highlighted political uncertainty in the public mind. Higher gasoline prices may also be affecting sentiment, he added. Australian stocks XJO, -0.84%  were down about 0.8%.

The chances of a near-term interest-rate cut from New Zealand’s central bank diminished after the country’s CPI jumped by more than expected in September, rising to an annual rate of 1.9%, Australian bank Westpac says. The jump was much more than the Royal Bank of New Zealand was expecting, and Westpac thinks inflation is likely to push even higher over coming quarters. Also clipping the wings of rates doves: economic activity has been firmer and the New Zealand dollar is lower. “Nevertheless, interest rate hikes are still a long way off, with the Official Cash Rate set to remain on hold for some time yet,” Westpac says. The NZD/USD is at 0.6557 early on Tuesday. Stocks NZ50GR, -1.19%  fell a little more than 1%.

Malaysian inflation also likely picked up last month following the reintroduction of a sales-and-services tax after June’s scrapping of the unpopular goods-and-services levy. The mean estimate of 8 economists polled by WSJ is for CPI being 0.8% higher than a year earlier, versus August’s 3 1/2-year low of 0.2%. Bank Islam Malaysia chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid says a weak ringgit and rising raw-material and labor costs for businesses will continue to contribute to higher general prices. The September inflation data are due Friday. Malaysia stocks FBMKLCI, -0.59%  tumbled 0.5%.

This story was compiled from Dow Jones Newswire reports.

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