Asian Stock MarketsAsian Markets Defy Covid Concerns to Post Gains; Krafton Slumps 17% on Debut

A trader sits and watches the screen at the Shanghai Stock Exchange [Image: Bloomberg]

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Tuesday. Meanwhile, South Korean game developer Krafton plunged in its debut.

South Korea’s broader Kospi slipped 0.53% to close at 3,243.19.

Shares of South Korean game developer Krafton slumped as much as 17% in Asian trading hours, from its IPO price on its market debut, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Krafton, the game maker behind the blockbuster game PUBG, later pared some of those losses but still closed nearly 9% lower.

Shares of companies related to South Korean conglomerate Samsung declined on Tuesday. Shares of Samsung Electronics slipped 1.6% while Samsung C&T fell 2.11%. Samsung Life Insurance slipped 0.52% and Samsung SDS dropped 2.41%.

South Korea’s justice ministry announced Monday that the firm’s heir Jay Y. Lee is set to be released on parole later this week, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite jumped 1.01% to 3,529.93 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.777% to 15,057.59.

TradingView Chart Snapshot
Shanghai Composite Index, one year technical chart [Tradingview]
Still, a widening Covid resurgence in China will be monitored by markets as the country reported more infections this week, and cities embarked on mass testing.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also rose about 1%, as of its final hour of trading.

Shares of Evergrande Property Services, an arm of indebted Chinese developer China Evergrande, soared around 15.83%. China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group jumped 7.2%.

Reuters had reported, citing sources, that Evergrande is in talks to sell stakes in its electric vehicle and property management businesses — China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group and Evergrande Property Services Group respectively.

In other markets, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 0.24% higher at 27,888.15 while the Topix index advanced 0.36% to end the trading day at 1,936.28. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.32% to close at 7,562.60.

TradingView Chart Snapshot
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, one year technical performance.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.36%.

Overnight stateside, the Dow declined 106.66 points to 35,101.85 while the S&P 500 slipped about 0.1% to 4,432.35. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed, rising 0.16% to 14,860.18.

Worries about the impact of Covid on global growth continued to weigh on investor sentiment, with countries grappling with the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus.

Asian Markets Currencies & Oil

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours on Tuesday following a tumble on Monday. International benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 1.2% to $69.87 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.55% to $67.51 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.968 following a climb late last week from below 92.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.41 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7339, below levels above $0.735 seen yesterday.

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