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China leads in growth among major Asia-Pacific markets

14 April 2021

China leads in growth among major Asia-Pacific markets

China's shares led in the Asia-Pacific region in trading on Wednesday as shares of Chinese technology companies traded in the city jumped.


By the close of the market in mainland China, the Shanghai composite rose 0.6 percent to 3,416.72, while the Shenzhen component rose 1.55% to 13,728.


Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also showed solid growth, rising 1.42% to end the day at 28,900.83.


Shares of Chinese technology companies listed in Hong Kong rose on Wednesday after 12 companies, including Baidu, and Meituan, said they had complied with antitrust laws.


By the close of the Hong Kong market on Wednesday, Baidu shares in Hong Kong were up 3.21%, 2.55% and Meituan shares were up 3.62%.


The event comes just a day after Beijing gave so-called platform companies a month to test their actions and correct any anti-competitive practices. Shares of most Chinese tech giants in Hong Kong fell on Tuesday amid regulatory fears.


Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.44% to 29,620.99 and the Topix index fell 0.33% to 1,952.18. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.42% to 3,182.38.


In Australia, the S/ASX 200 index rose 0.66%, ending the trading day at 7,023.10.


In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times index in Singapore fell about 0.2 percent at about 4:18 p.m. local time. This was despite data showing that the country's economy unexpectedly grew by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, according to official preliminary estimates released on Wednesday.


MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose about 1 percent.


Investors watched the market's reaction to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's statement on Tuesday asking states to temporarily stop using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine against Covid-19 after six women in the country developed a rare blood clotting disorder. To date, more than 6.8 million doses of the J.J. vaccine have been administered in the United States.


Meanwhile, Moderna said Tuesday that its Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in protecting against Covid and is more than 95% effective against severe diseases within six months of the second dose.


According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, more than 137 million cases of Covid infection have been reported worldwide, and the death toll from the disease has exceeded the 2.9 million mark.


Overnight on Wall Street, the S'P 500 posted a new closing high, rising 0.33% to 4,141.59, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.05% to end its trading day at 13,996.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.13 points to close at 33,677.27.


Oil prices jumped in afternoon trading in Asia: futures for Brent crude oil on the world market rose by 1.37% to 64.54 dollars per barrel. U.S. crude futures also rose 1.38% to $61.01 per barrel.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of its counterparts, was at 91.71 after touching an earlier low of 91.665.


The Japanese yen is trading at 108.96 per dollar, which is higher than the level of 109.5 against the dollar, observed yesterday. The Australian dollar moved from hand to hand at $0.7681, above the levels below the $0.762 seen earlier this week.

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