Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbs 3% in Asia-Pacific mixed trade

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday as investors in the region shrugged off heavy losses overnight on Wall Street, which saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunge nearly 4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index led the gains among the region’s major markets, rising 3% in afternoon trading.

Hong Kong financial stocks jumped on Friday, with shares of HSBC climbing 4.62% while Standard Chartered jumped 4.47% after the Bank of England announced its second straight rate hike on Thursday.

We think the dominant theme, at least for the first half of this year, will be around interest rates,” Kieran Calder, head of Asia equity research at UBP, told ” CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” is expected to be the “main beneficiary” of this trend due to factors such as rising net interest income and yields, he said.

Hong Kong markets resumed trading on Friday after being closed for most of this week due to the Lunar New Year holiday. In mainland China, markets remain closed on Friday for the holidays.

The South Korean Kospi jumped 1.18%.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rebounded from earlier losses gaining 0.6% while the Topix index climbed 0.51%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia advanced 0.26%.

MSCI’s broadest index of non-Japan Asia-Pacific stocks rose 1%.

Wall Street drop

Major averages fell overnight in the US, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropping 3.74% to 13,878.82 – its worst day since September 2020.

The S&P 500 also posted steep losses, falling 2.44% to 4,477.44 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 518.17 points, or 1.45%, to 35,111.16.

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U.S. equity futures subsequently indicated a reversal of some of those losses, following strong quarterly results from tech companies like Amazon and Snap. Dow futures climbed 169 points. S&P 500 futures gained 1.04% while Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1.85%.

Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.151 – having fallen from more than 96.6 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen was trading at 114.88 to the dollar, weaker than levels below 114.5 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7149, largely holding onto its gains after rising less than $0.702 earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures rising 0.44% to $91.51 a barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.68% to $90.88 a barrel.

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