Asia report: Hong Kong leads risers on mixed day for region
Markets in Asia closed in a mixed state on Thursday, with Hong Kong's bourse leading the gains as a former Evergrande shareholder announced it could be taken private.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.54% at 27,678.21, as the yen weakened 0.03% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 111.44.
It was a positive day for the benchmark’s major components, with robotics specialist Fanuc up 1.24%, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing rising 1.25%, and technology giant SoftBank Group 0.8% firmer.
The broader Topix index was down 0.12% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,939.62.
Mainland China markets were still closed on Thursday as the country’s Golden Week holiday rolled on.
South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.76% at 2,959.46, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong jumped 3.07% to 24,701.73.
The major technology plays were among the leaders in the special administrative region, with Alibaba surging 7.28% and Tencent ahead 5.6%.
Chinese Estates, meanwhile, rocketed 31.72%, after the former shareholder in embattled development giant China Evergrande said it had been approached with an offer to take it private.
No finer details were offered on the potential transaction, however, and trading in Evergrande itself remained halted.
The blue-chip tech stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics rising 0.42%, while SK Hynix lost 0.83%.
“Bargain hunters have emerged after Wednesday’s heavy selling, encouraged by strong trading in Asia overnight and apparent progress in the US on an extension to the debt ceiling,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould of the global situation on Thursday.
“Some of the heat was taken out of the gas market after an intervention by Russian premier Vladimir Putin yesterday, cooling inflationary fears for the time being.
“However, even if energy prices fall from here, they’ve gone up so much in recent weeks that they will still have a large impact on inflation numbers in the coming months.”
Oil prices were in the red as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last down 1.55% at $79.82 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate losing 2.18% at $75.74.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 managed gains of 0.7% to 7,256.70, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 slipped 0.47% to 13,104.61.
The down under dollars were both stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.11% at AUD 1.3735, and the Kiwi advancing 0.09% to NZD 1.4451.