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Asian Markets Edge Higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index Jumps Nearly 2%

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday, as investors monitored Hong Kong-listed stocks of firms in regulation-hit sectors such as video games.

Shares of Tencent in Hong Kong jumped 2.08% on Friday while NetEase gained 3.14% — a partial recovery after the heavy losses seen Thursday.

Gaming stocks had tumbled on Thursday as the South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese government will suspend approvals for new online games in the country. After the market close, however, the media outlet corrected the report to instead say regulators will slow the approvals process.

The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.91% on the day to 26,205.91, largely recovering from its more than 2% decline on Thursday. Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.27% to 3,703.14 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.499% to 14,771.87.

Asian Markets
Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.25% to close at 30,381.84 while the Topix index advanced 1.29% to finish the trading day at 2,091.65. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.36% higher, closing at 3,125.76.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.5% higher at 7,406.60.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 1.02%.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced Thursday a slowing in the pace of net asset purchases under its pandemic emergency purchase program.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 151.69 points to 34,879.38 while the S&P 500 shed 0.46% to 4,493.28. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.25% to 15,248.25

Asian Markets Oil and Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.515 after falling earlier in the week from above 92.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.92 per dollar, stronger than levels around 110.4 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7379 following a decline from above $0.744 seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.84% to $72.05 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.73% to $68.64 per barrel.

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