February 23, 2024

Asia-Pacific Stocks Mostly Rise

On Wednesday, shares in Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher for the day, as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Bank of Korea hiked their interest rates and China also released some economic data.

Index performance

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong had made gains earlier in the day, but it closed down by 0.22% for the day at 20,797.95. There was a rise in airline stocks, after the announcement that quarantine-free travel may be permitted under some conditions by November. However, they ended up trimming some of their gains later in the session.

There was a 0.59% rise in Cathay Pacific and there was a 3.15% rise in China Southern Airlines at closing time. There was a more than 11% fall in the shares of Tiagnqi Lithium in its Hong Kong debut from the offer price it had set at 82 Hong Kong dollars. But, it managed to make a recovery by closing time and was back at its offer price.

Miniso also debuted in the Hong Kong market and saw its shares fall.

Asia markets

There was a 0.54% rise in Japan’s Nikkei 225 index as it ended the day at 26,478.77 and a 0.29% gain was also recorded in the Topix index that bringing it to 1,888.85. The Kospi index rose by 0.47% in South Korea to reach 2,328.61 and a 1.65% rise was also seen in the Kosdaq, which brought it to 763.18.

The benchmark Taiex index in Taiwan jumped 3% in morning trading, after the announcement of the finance ministry. It said that they would intervene in the market via a stock stabilization fund. The index closed the day up by 2.68%.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index remained flat during the trading session, but there was a 0.23% gain later, which saw it end the day at 6,621.6. The mainland Chinese markets had been struggling for direction initially, but managed to close the day a bit higher. There was a 0.56% increase in the Shenzhen Component as it reached 12,508.89 and the Shanghai Composite was also higher a bit and closed the day at 3,284.29.

On Wednesday, the trade data released in China showed that dollar-denominated exports had risen by 17.9% in June, which was significantly higher than the predicted 12%. There was a 1% rise in imports, which was less than the 3.9% that had been predicted. A 0.41% gain was recorded in the MSCI gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan.

Bank moves

There were a 50 basis points increase in the interest rate for the first time by the Bank of Korea, which brought it to 2.25%. This was in accordance with the expectations. The Korean won had reached a value of 1,305.58 against the US dollar for the day.

Meanwhile, a 50 basis points increase was also made by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which brought the rate to 2.5%. The New Zealand dollar had reached the $0.6127 mark. Thailand’s stock exchange remained closed on Wednesday for a holiday. The Wall Street indexes see-sawed for the most part of the day before they closed lower.

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