Hong Kong stocks recover from over 1-year low
Hong Kong stocks bounced back from 14-month lows while South Korean stocks were on track to snap a six-day losing streak on Wednesday.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 1.4% to 23,797.03 by lunch break on Wednesday. The index was on track to post its first gain in three days having closed at its lowest since 30 September 2020 a day earlier.
Banks and energy firms led the recovery in Hong Kong with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and China Merchants Bank gaining over 3% by lunch break to emerge among the top five performers on the benchmark index.
Alibaba slips further
Tuesday’s biggest loser, tech and real estate stocks, rebounded as the Hang Seng TECH Index and Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index gained over 1% each by midday.
However, Alibaba Group bucked the trend to lose 1.4% by lunch break in Hong Kong, having seen its New York-listed stock close overnight at its lowest since June 2017.
Macau-based casino operators Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China were the top losers in Hong Kong, down 3.8% and 3.4% respectively, on media reports that troubled gambling group Suncity Group Holdings has closed all VIP gaming rooms in Macau following the arrest of its chairman.
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Australia reports first Omicron community case
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3% to 7,231.40 by Wednesday afternoon.
Australian authorities on Tuesday confirmed the first community case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the country.
Energy, financials and tech sectors were all trading in the red by Wednesday afternoon as investors stayed on the sidelines fearing reimposition of strict social distancing restrictions in Australia.
Japan, South Korea rise
Autoparts manufacturer GUD Holdings slumped over 7% on resuming trade on Wednesday. The company announced a discounted new shares placement in order to fund the acquisition of AutoPacific Group a day earlier.
Meanwhile In Japan, benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.8% to 28,037 by Wednesday afternoon helped by gains among automobile, steel, real estate and machinery stocks.
South Korea’s KOSPI index rose about 2% to recover from a 11-month low on Wednesday. Index heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK hynix jumped 4.8% and 2.6% respectively.