Morning BriefAsia – Pacific Stocks Mixed as SMIC Shares Drop on U.S Blacklisting

The Japanese yen traded at 103.86 per dollar after strengthening sharply yesterday from levels above 104 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7433, having risen from levels below $0.74 earlier in the trading week.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday trade after the Pentagon added more Chinese firms to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, as the Shanghai composite shed 0.14% while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.138%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was also up 0.15%.

Chinas largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and oil producer CNOOC were among firms added to the blacklist. Hong Kong-listed shares of SMIC plunged more than 6% in afternoon trade after an earlier suspension. CNOOC, or China National Offshore Oil Corp., also saw its Hong Kong-listed stock fall about 3.5%.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi led gains among the region’s major markets and jumped 1.31%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.22% to close at 26,751.24 while the Topix finished its trading day slightly higher at 1,775.94.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged higher on the day, as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.28% to 6,634.10. Australia’s retail turnover rose 1.4% month-on-month in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to figures from the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.83%.

In other corporate developments, Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com rose around 3%. Reuters reported, citing sources, JD Logistics is seeking bank pitches for a Hong Kong IPO of up to $3 billion.

The development came just days after JD.com’s digital health-care unit, JD Health, raised $3.5 billion in a Hong Kong IPO. Shares of JD Health are expected to begin trading on Tuesday.

Investors were also monitoring vaccine developments after a report said Pfizer expects to ship half the Covid-19 vaccine doses it originally planned for this year due to supply chain issues.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer had originally planned to ship 100 million doses this year, but some early batches of raw materials needed for the vaccine failed to meet standards. The U.S. drugmaker repeatedly said publicly that it planned to ship 50 million vaccine doses this year and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Still, the Journal report spurred a late-day sell-off in U.S. markets.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.89% to $49.63 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 1.62% to $46.38 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.637 following its decline earlier this week from levels above 91.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.86 per dollar after strengthening sharply yesterday from levels above 104 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7433, having risen from levels below $0.74 earlier in the trading week.

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