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Asia-Pacific markets mixed as investors turn cautious

By Mensholong Lepcha

05:27, 9 December 2021

Stock market tickers on screen
– Photo: Shutterstock

Major equity markets in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors turned cautious while awaiting clarity on the Omicron Covid-19 variant and key US consumer inflation data due later this week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index snapped two days of gains to close about 0.3% lower on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was on track to close higher for third straight day, up 1% by lunch break, on the back of tech gains. Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index remained close to flat for majority of the session but lost ground in late-afternoon trade to close over 0.3% lower.

Premature to conclude vaccine effectiveness

World Health Organization (WHO) told a media briefing that it was premature to conclude on the effectiveness of available vaccines against the latest Covid-19 variant, even though BioNTech and Pfizer announced that a third shot of its Covid-19 vaccine was able to neutralise the Omicron variant in a lab test.

Markets await November US consumer price index figures due on Friday for clues on US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate hike timeline.


16,632.00 Price
+0.640% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0221%
Short position overnight fee -0.0001%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 8.0


36,050.20 Price
-0.220% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2


16,418.40 Price
-0.040% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0260%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 30.0


4,550.60 Price
-0.410% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.8

“More persistent inflation and the Fed’s recent hawkish turn on inflation concerns imply that monetary support is set to decline in 2022, with Fed/Asian CBs set to tighten policy. As markets anticipate this shift from the Fed - as was the case in the previous two rate hike cycles - Asia stocks are likely to be volatile (most likely into 1Q). Despite these bumps, we expect stocks to deliver double-digit returns by end-2022  driven largely by earnings growth and flat multiples from a low base,” Nomura said in its Asia-Pacific Equity Strategy – 2022 Outlook report.

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Tech stocks pull Hong Kong benchmark index up

Thursday’s gains in Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, up 1.8% and 1% respectively, helped the Hang Seng TECH index climb over 2% by lunch break.

In Japan, steel and automobile stocks were the top sectoral losers on Thursday as Nissan Motor slipped 1.8% and Nippon Steel lost 1.9%.

In Australia, energy firms were the top losers, while miners and tech stocks also joined the slump. Meanwhile, Sydney Airport hit a near two-year high and was among the top gainers on the benchmark index, up 2.9%, after its $17.5bn buyout by a consortium was approved by Australia’s competition regulator.

Read more: ACCC approves 3 deals including .5bn Sydney Airport buyout

Markets in this article

Alibaba Group
70.4 USD
-0.1 -0.140%
Australia 200
7159.0 USD
66 +0.930%
Australia 200
7159.0 USD
66 +0.930%
Australia 200
7159.0 USD
66 +0.930%
Australia 200
7159.0 USD
66 +0.930%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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