- Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Wednesday trade, though markets in mainland China struggled to recover as investors continue to monitor the Covid situation in the country.
- The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped about 3% in Wednesday morning trade, after falling nearly 6% on Tuesday to close at its lowest since Feb. 2016.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to announce its latest interest rate decision. The central bank is widely expected to raise rates by a quarter point, its first hike since 2018.
SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Wednesday trade, though markets in mainland China struggled to recover amid the Covid resurgence in the country.
In morning trade, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 3.03% as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent surged more than 8% while life insurer AIA climbed 2.41%.
On Tuesday, the Hang Seng had tumbled nearly 6% to close at its lowest since Feb. 2016.
Mainland Chinese stocks shed earlier gains as the Shanghai composite fell 0.36% and the Shenzhen component shed 0.59%. That comes as China grapples with its most severe Covid outbreak since the height of the pandemic in 2020, with major cities scrambling to limit business activity.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.7% while the Topix index gained 1.57%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.83%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.11%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.47% higher.
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Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours of Wednesday, after tumbling on Tuesday, continuing its recent fall.
International benchmark Brent crude futures gained 1.1% to $101.01 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also rose, climbing 0.79% to $97.20 per barrel.
Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 599.10 points, or 1.82%, to 33,544.34. The S&P 500 index climbed 2.14% to 4,262.45 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.92% to 12,948.62.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to announce its latest interest rate decision Wednesday stateside. The central bank is widely expected to raise rates by a quarter point, its first hike since 2018.
|.N225||Nikkei 225 Index||*NIKKEI||25784.71||438.23||1.73|
|.HSI||Hang Seng Index||*HSI||18846.64||431.56||2.34|
|.AXJO||S&P/ASX 200||*ASX 200||7162.9||65.5||0.92|
|.FTFCNBCA||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||*CNBC 100||8455.58||130.2||1.56|
Meanwhile, the Russian state is due to pay $117 million in interest on two sovereign eurobonds on Wednesday, the first of four payment dates to creditors in March alone as the country faces the prospect of defaulting on its debt. That comes after international sanctions on Russia’s central bank have blocked off a substantial portion of the country’s foreign exchange reserves following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.897 — still above levels below 98 seen last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 118.20 per dollar, still weaker as compared with levels below 116.1 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7203 after recently slipping from above $0.72.
Source : CNBC