Asian Markets Mixed as Chinese Tech Stocks Follow Wall Street Rally
Markets across Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, as developments turned the focus on Chinese tech giants and regional energy stocks.
Shares of Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba were monitored by investors on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications. That included WeChat Pay and Ant Group’s Alipay. The order is only set to go into effect after Trump leaves office.
Shares of Tencent and Alibaba in Hong Kong on Wednesday gained 2.23% and 3.14%, respectively. E-commerce giant JD.com also soared 7.73% while Meituan advanced 4.52%.
Regional energy stocks also advanced in Wednesday trade after Saudi Arabia agreed to voluntary production cuts in February and March. In Australia, Beach Energy rose 1.95% and Santos gained 2.05%. Japan’s Inpex also jumped 6.17% and S-Oil in South Korea advanced 4.1%. Hong Kong-listed shares of CNOOC rose 4.25%.
Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, following robust gains seen Tuesday. International benchmark Brent crude futures gained 0.26% to $53.74 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dipped 0.16% to $49.85 per barrel.
The broader Asia-Pacific markets were mixed.
In mainland China, the Shanghai composite was up 0.63% on the day to 3,550.88 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.264% to close at 15,187.61. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index finished its trading day 0.15% higher at 27,692.30.
A private survey showed services sector activity in China expanding at a slower pace in December, with the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index coming in at 56.3. That compared against November’s reading of 57.8.
The 50 level in PMI readings separates expansion from contraction.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.38% to close at 27,055.94 while the Topix index finished its trading day 0.28% higher at 1,796.18. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.75% to close at 2,968.21.
Stocks in Australia slipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 1.12% on the day to 6,607.10.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was above the flatline.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.273 as it continued to languish below the 90 level.
The Japanese yen traded at 102.76 per dollar after strengthening yesterday from levels above 102.9 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7793 following a rise from levels below $0.768 yesterday.