Asian Markets Edge Lower, Hong Kong Shares Extend Losses

Asian markets were mainly lower on Friday as Hong Kong shares slumped, extending losses from the previous session as some of China’s biggest tech names remained under pressure.

The benchmark Hang Seng index declined 1.07% to 25,049.97 while the tech-focused Hang Seng tech index dropped 0.26% to 6,457.97.

Asian Markets Chart
Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

Alibaba shares listed in Hong Kong dropped more than 10% after the technology behemoth missed revenue and earnings expectations for the September quarter, as slowing economic growth in China weighed on results.

The company reported revenue of 200.69 billion yuan ($31.4 billion), less than the 204.93 billion yuan estimated but still a 29% year-on-year rise. The company reported earnings per share of 11.20 yuan, less than an estimate of 12.36 yuan and a 38% year-on-year decline.

Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares fell 11.1% on Thursday.

Shares of Meituan were down 1.61%, Baidu declined 3.26% and Tencent lost 0.16%. Alibaba-rival JD bucked the downward trend and gained 9.1%. Broadly, shares traded mixed across Asia-Pacific.

Mainland Chinese stocks rose: The Shanghai composite added 1.13% to 3,560.37, while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.19% to 14,752.49.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 29,745.87, while the Topix was up 0.44% to 2,044.53. Investors are on the lookout for an expected announcement of a record $488 billion stimulus package in Japan later on Friday, with Reuters citing media reports.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.23% to 7,396.50. Shares of Crown Resorts soared more than 16.57% after a $6.2 billion buyout offer from investment firm Blackstone, according to Reuters.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8% to 2,971.02. India’s markets are closed for a holiday on Friday.

U.S. markets were mixed overnight, although strong earnings lifted some indices. The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher to 4,704.54 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to 15,993.71. The Dow fell 60 points, or 0.1%, dragged lower by big losses in Cisco shares.

The S&P 500 fell as much as 0.3% at one point before recovering, after strong earnings from Nvidia, the world’s largest chipmaker by market value, and various retailers. Other chipmakers also rose as Nvidia’s strong results lifted optimism for the sector.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.646 — recovering from levels near 95.580 earlier.

The Japanese yen weakened slightly, trading at 114.33 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.7281, easing from an earlier level of around $0.7291.

In the oil market, prices continued to recover from a drop to six-week lows. U.S. crude was up 0.75% to around $79.6 per barrel during Asian trading hours. Global benchmark Brent rose 0.92% to $81.99.

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