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Asian Equities Mixed; China Data in Focus

Asian equities were mixed in afternoon trade on Tuesday - Asian equities were mixed in afternoon trade on Tuesday. Official data showed on Tuesday that China's consumer price index (CPI) in September rose 2.5% from a year earlier, in line with economists’ forecasts.

Escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi also remained in focus, as U.S. President Donald Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia over the case, reports on Tuesday suggested.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component opened higher but fell 0.3% and 1.2% respectively by 1:40 AM ET (05:40 GMT).

Official data showed on Tuesday that consumer price index (CPI) in September rose 2.5% from a year earlier, in line with economists’ forecasts.

Meanwhile, producer price index (PPI) rose 3.6% in September from a year earlier, compared with a 4.1% increase in August.

Analysts expected September producer inflation to ease to 3.5%.

Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said over the weekend in the IMF meeting that the central bank still has “plenty of room” for adjustment in interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), if trade tensions with the United States continue to intensify.

"We still have plenty of monetary instruments in terms of interest rate policy, in terms of the required reserve ratio. We have plenty of room for adjustment, in case we need it," he said, adding that China still wants a "constructive solution" to the ongoing trade disputes.

For this year, Yi said that CPI will likely to be about 2% and expects PPI between 3-4%

Looking ahead, third-quarter GDP, industrial production and retail sales are expected to take centre stage on Friday. Headline growth is expected to slow to 6.6% year-on-year from 6.7%.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also slipped 0.4%. Shares in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd (HK:2799) jumped as much as 6% earlier in the day, a day after a 3% drop caused by the announcement of a corruption investigation into Chairman Lai Xiaomin and his expulsion from the Communist Party of China (CPC).

China Huarong’s shares fell 3% on Monday after China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) issued an statement on its website outlining that Lai had been expelled from the CPC for corrupt practices.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.1%. Shares of Softbank Corp. (T:9984) rebounded in morning trade after plunging more than 7% on Monday over concerns of the company’s ties to Saudi Arabia, as it provided nearly half the money for SoftBank's $93 billion tech-focused Vision Fund, according to Reuters.

South Korea’s KOSPI was little changed at 2,146.00.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 traded 0.6% higher.

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