Asia-Pacific markets track Wall Street gains to edge higher
05:00, 23 December 2021
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 JD.com 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 JD.com 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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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.