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Asia-Pacific markets mixed; Beijing eases some Covid measures

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia-Pacific markets mixed; Beijing eases some Covid measures

Abigail Ng

Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday after Wall Street sold off overnight on fears that the Fed will keep increasing interest rates.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.14% in early trade, with the Hang Seng Tech index declining 1.27% – despite Beijing easing some Covid test requirements for the city and markets rallied on reopening hopes on Monday. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite in mainland China gained 0.2%, and the Shenzhen Component was up 1.02%.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 27902.11 81.71 0.29
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 19291.78 -226.51 -1.16
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7316.2 -9.4 -0.13
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3217.72 5.9 0.18
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2408.79 -10.53 -0.44
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 7985.16 -94.45 -1.17

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.12% and the Australian dollar was stronger at around $0.6723 ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy decision, in which economists expect to see a hike of 25 basis points.

The Nikkei 225 and Topix in Japan gained 0.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.45% and the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.85%.

Beijing announces further Covid easing measures

Beijing city announced negative Covid tests will no longer be required to enter most public areas, malls or residential areas, while bars and so-called KTV lounges, or karaoke bars.

Separately, Reuters reported on Monday that China could announce a further relaxation of Covid curbs as early as Wednesday, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.

The report said there would be 10 new measures in addition to the 20 that were put out in November.

Several cities in China relaxed Covid testing rules in recent days.

— Evelyn Cheng, Abigail Ng

Foxconn reports slump in revenue after Covid-related unrest at China plant

Apple supplier Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, reported its monthly revenue for November fell over 11% compared to the same period last year.

Revenue for the month totaled 551.1 billion new Taiwan dollars ($18 billion), and was down more than 29% versus October.

The Taiwanese firm said the fall was due to “production gradually entering off-peak seasonality and a portion of shipments being impacted by the epidemic in Zhengzhou,” where the company runs the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant.

Shares of the company dropped 1.48% in Asia’s morning.

– Arjun Kharpal

Chinese markets to pause trade for 3 minutes on Tuesday as nation mourns for former leader

Chinese financial markets will pause trade for three minutes on Tuesday morning to mourn former President Jiang Zemin who died last week, according to a notice on the People’s Bank of China’s website.

The move is to show “incomparable respect and deep condolences” to Jiang, the notice said.

Trading in gold, foreign exchange, interbank bond markets and more will stop for three minutes during a memorial, a notice on the People’s Bank of China’s website said without specifying the time.

— Abigail Ng

Australia expected to raise rates by 25 basis points: Reuters poll

Australia’s central bank is expected to raise its cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.1% on Tuesday, according to economists polled by Reuters.

That would be the Reserve Bank of Australia’s eighth hike this year, and the third consecutive hike of 25 basis points since October.

In a statement following its November meeting, the RBA said “the full effect” of the series of cash rate hikes lie ahead.

Meanwhile, Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index, said there’s potential for a pause in rate hikes further ahead.

“The case for a pause is certainly building,” he said. “Some measures of inflation expectations are moving lower, and the monthly inflation print suggests inflation has peaked.”

Inflation in Australia remains well above the RBA’s target of between 2% and 3%, though it saw slight easing in October, according to the central bank’s monthly consumer price indicator.

— Charmaine Jacob

Stocks finish lower to start the week

Stocks finished lower Monday as fears mounted that the Federal Reserve will continue hiking rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 482.78 points, or 1.4%, to finish at 33,947.10. The S&P 500 shed 1.79% to settle at 3,998.84, while the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.93% to close at 11,239.94.

— Samantha Subin

Source : CNBC

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