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Asian Markets Mixed as Ant Group Set’s Price for Debut IPO

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade following an overnight tumble on Wall Street. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.55% lower, as of its final hour of trading.

Shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong were up 0.47% in afternoon trade. The moves came after the Chinese technology giant’s affiliate, Ant Group, set the price for its shares on Monday. Ant Group’s upcoming dual initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong is set to be the biggest listing of all time.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC soared 4.81%. Europe’s largest bank by assets on Tuesday reported a higher than expected third quarter pre-tax profit.

Elsewhere, stocks in Australia led losses among the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 1.7% to close at 6,051.

Mainland Chinese stocks recovered from earlier declines to rise by their close: The Shanghai composite gained around 0.1% to about 3,254.32 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.594% to about 13,269.65. Profits at China’s industrial firms jumped 10.1% year-on-year in September, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended its trading day fractionally lower at 23,485.80 while the Topix index fell about 0.1% to close at 1,617.53.

South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.56% to close at 2,330.84. South Korea’s real gross domestic product grew 1.9% in the third quarter as as compared to the previous quarter, according to an advance estimate released Tuesday by the Bank of Korea.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.31%.

Investor sentiment in Asia-Pacific may have been impacted by sharp overnight declines on Wall Street amid a jump in coronavirus infections. Optimism is also fading over the White House striking a stimulus deal with Democrats before the elections.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.956 after seeing an earlier high of 93.087.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.76 per dollar after seeing levels around 105 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7127 after seeing an earlier low of $0.7113.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.74% to $40.76 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.73% to $38.84 per barrel.

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