Stocks in Australia fell on further weakness in iron ore but most other shares in the region were mostly little changed Thursday and the Shanghai market remained up nearly 4% so far this week amid more stimulus measures from Beijing.
Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was down 0.7%, led lower by resources shares. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. fell 4.8%, while BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 1.6% each. The move coincided with a Reuters survey showing expectations for further weakness in iron ore, with 2015 prices forecast to average $56 per metric ton, down from a previous projection of $68 a ton made in January.
Most other benchmarks in Asia Pacific were close to flat, continuing a recovery in the region from a selloff in European bonds that spread globally to a range of asset classes. The Shanghai Composite Index and Hang Seng Index were both flat. The Hang Seng Index is down more than 1% this week, even after China’s central bank cut interest rates on Sunday for a third time in six months.