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Asia-Pacific markets track Wall Street gains to edge higher

By Mensholong Lepcha

05:00, 23 December 2021

Hong Kong display stock market charts
– Photo: Shutterstock

Asia-Pacific markets rose on Thursday tracking overnight gains on Wall Street on the back of positive US economic data.

Major Asia-Pacific markets in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia were all trading in the green on Thursday after data showed US consumer confidence improved further in December. The bullish reading helped all of Wall Street’s three main indices to close with strong gains overnight on Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, benchmark Hang Seng Index inched 0.2% higher to 23,140 by lunch break.

Tencent top gainer

Tencent Holdings was the top gainer in Hong Kong, up 4% to HKD460.80. The gaming-to-music services company announced that it will distribute shares to its shareholders as a special interim dividend.

Gains in Tencent were not enough to help the Hang Seng TECH index post gains on Thursday. Losses in e-commerce firm and food delivery company Meituan, down 7.1% and 3.5% respectively, pushed the technology index lower by 1%.

Index heavyweight Alibaba Group fell 1.5% to HKD113.2 by lunch break on Thursday. The stock has fallen over 50%, as of Thursday.

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16,908.50 Price
-0.760% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0261%
Short position overnight fee 0.0042%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 30.0


16,001.20 Price
+0.470% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 7.0


16,454.10 Price
+1.340% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0220%
Short position overnight fee -0.0002%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 8.0


36,260.80 Price
+0.920% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 11.0

Aussie banks and gold stocks up

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 7,378 by late afternoon and was on track to post its third straight day of gains.

Financial stocks were the day’s biggest gainers, technology firms fell to cap gains while mining and energy firms traded flat in Australia on Thursday.

“Big Four” Aussie banks were all trading in the green, posting gains between 0.2% to 0.4%. Aussie gold stocks rose on the back of firmer bullion prices with S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index up over 1% on Thursday.

Japan shares on a three-day winning streak

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was on a three-day winning streak, up 0.5% to 28,707 on Thursday.

Energy and automobile firms were the top gainers in Tokyo on Thursday, while pharmaceutical stocks lost most.

Read more: Tencent (0700) to distribute shares as special dividend

Markets in this article

Alibaba Group
72.1 USD
-0.6 -0.830%
Australia 200
7141.0 USD
73 +1.030%
Australia 200
7141.0 USD
73 +1.030%
Australia 200
7141.0 USD
73 +1.030%
Australia 200
7141.0 USD
73 +1.030%

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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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