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Asia Pacific stocks mostly rise; Tencent shares slip from record high

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 4 June 24, 2020

Stocks in Asia Pacific mostly edged higher on Wednesday, as Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent slipped from record highs seen earlier in the day.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 1.42% to close at 2,161.51, with shares of index heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix surging 2.92% and 2.26%, respectively.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed 0.5% lower at 24,781.58, as Tencent's stock slipped 1.33% on the day after earlier touching a new record high.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by their market close, with the Shanghai composite up 0.3% to about 2,979.55 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.165% to around 11,813.53.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was fractionally lower on the day at 22,534.32 while the Topix index shed 0.42% to close at 1,580.50. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.19% to finish its trading day at 5,965.70.

Overall, the MSCI Asia-ex Japan index gained 0.1%.

The moves regionally came as the coronavirus situation stateside continues to be watched, with White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warning Tuesday that parts of the U.S. are beginning to see a "disturbing surge" of Covid-19 cases.

In a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fauci said he is "quite concerned" about the rise in coronavirus cases in states that "reflect an increase in community spread." He did also say, however, that states with growing coronavirus outbreaks may not need to do an "absolute shutdown."

More than 2 million people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

"COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise in the US, but for now markets are having trouble with the implications given the high bar to re-imposing restrictions," Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan said: "It is still unclear when the spread of COVID-19 will subside on a global basis, as the spread is continuing in emerging economies in particular. It seems inevitable that the negative impact on the global economy, including Japan, will become prolonged without effective vaccines and medicines."

"Due to expectations for the future, prices in financial markets have been high compared with the current severe situation of the real economy. It is necessary to closely monitor future developments in the markets to see whether there will be a correction in asset prices," the BoJ said.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 96.81 after dropping from levels above 97 seen yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.51 per dollar after strengthening sharply from levels above 107 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6913 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6899.

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.31% to $42.07 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also dropped 1.76% to $39.66 per barrel.