Asia Markets

Asian Stocks Mixed Following Wall Street Bounce; Yum China Debuts in Hong Kong

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday trading, as shares in Indonesian and China markets fell. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.64% lower at 24,313.54. Shares of Yum China slipped more than 5% from their issue price on the stock’s Thursday debut in the city.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.88% to close at 23,235.47 while the Topix index advanced 1.21% to end its trading day at 1,624.86.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.87% to close at 2,396.48. Shares of Kakao Games soared on their debut in South Korea, finishing the trading day at more than double their issue price. Shares in Australia also advanced on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.51% to 5,908.50.

Mainland Chinese stocks were lower in afternoon trading, with the Shanghai composite down 0.61% to about 3,234.82 while the Shenzhen component slid 0.924% to approximately 12,742.85. The Nasdaq-style ChiNext plunged 4.692% on the day to around 2,868.63.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index edged 0.18% higher.

In Southeast Asia, the Jakarta Composite in Indonesia plunged 5.01% to close at about 4,891.46 following a temporary trading halt triggered earlier. That came after the country’s capital announced plans to reinstate a partial coronavirus lockdown.

The moves regionally came on the back of an overnight surge on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 439.58 points higher, or 1.6%, at 27,940.47.  The S&P 500 jumped 2% to 3,398.96 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.7% to 11,141.56.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.12 following an earlier high of 93.281. The Japanese yen traded at 106.02 per dollar after weakening from levels below 105.9 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7269 following an earlier high of $0.7286.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.61% to $40.54 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 0.84% to $37.73 per barrel.

Later on Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to to announce its interest rate decision as well as monetary policy statement at around 7:45 p.m. HK/SIN.

“The ECB is expected to make no policy changes and reiterate it stands ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, at its policy meeting,” Joseph Capurso, head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a morning note.

On the economic data front, the U.S. Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report is also expected at about 8:30 p.m. HK/SIN. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect 850,000 new claims, down from last week’s 881,000.

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