Mixed Asia-Pacific stocks; Tech stocks fall after Wall Street sell-off


SINGAPORE – Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets mixed Thursday, though the region’s tech stocks took a hit after a sell-off in the sector overnight on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.14% to close at 28,729.88 while the Topix index gained 1.4% to end its trading day at 1,955.55. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.4% higher at 3,008.33.

Mainland China shares were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai composite falling 0.1% to 3,363.59 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.103% to 13,421.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed slightly lower at 27,899.61.

The S & P / ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.17% higher at 6,790.60.

MSCI’s broader Asia-Pacific equity index outside of Japan lost 0.16%.

Tech stocks fall

Shares of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi listed in Hong Kong fell 4.4% on Thursday. The losses came despite the company reporting a 36.7% increase in its fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday. Adjusted net profit for the three months ending December 31 was about 3.2 billion yuan (about $ 490 million). That beat analysts’ expectations of 2.9 billion yuan, according to Reuters.

Other Chinese tech stocks also fell. Shares of Chinese search giant Baidu listed in Hong Kong fell 9.65%, just days after a quiet debut in the city. Tencent fell 2.81%, while Alibaba fell 3.91%.

The pressure on Chinese tech stocks came when the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Wednesday that it was adopting measures that would remove foreign companies from US stock exchanges if they fail to meet US auditing standards. That could have an impact on publicly traded Chinese companies like Baidu and Alibaba.

Technology stocks in other parts of the region also declined. In Japan, the shares of the conglomerate Softbank Group fell 2.84%. South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix also fell 0.37%.

The moves came after tech stocks sold overnight in the United States, with the Nasdaq High Tech Composite falling 2.01% to 12,961.89.

The S&P 500 also fell 0.55% to close at 3,889.14, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.09 points to end its trading day at 32,420.06.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices fell in the late afternoon Asian business hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 1.34% to $ 63.55 a barrel. US crude futures fell 1.59% to $ 60.21 a barrel.

The US dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of its peers, was at 92.667 after rising from levels below 92 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen was trading at 109.10 per dollar, weaker than levels below 108.6 against the dollar seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7598, compared to levels above $ 0.765 seen earlier in the week.

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