SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade as investors in the region continued to track developments surrounding the omicron variant.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses among the region’s major markets, falling 1.09% by the afternoon.
Shares of Suncity Group in Hong Kong plummeted nearly 40% to 0.154 Hong Kong dollars ($0.02) per share after the firm’s chairman was recently arrested by Macao police for alleged links to illegal cross-border gambling activities.
Other Hong Kong-listed casino stocks also fell, with Wynn Macau down 4.31% while Sands China dropped more than 2% and SJM Holdings slipped 3.58%.
Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite up 0.23% while the Shenzhen component sat below the flatline.
Data released Tuesday showed Chinese factory activity unexpectedly growing in November, with China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for November coming in at 50.1. That was above expectations by analysts in a Reuters poll for a reading of 49.6.
PMI readings below 50 represent contraction while those above that level signify expansion. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.51% while the Topix index climbed 1.02%.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.07% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia jumped 1.05%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.1%.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.69% to $73.95 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.09% to $70.71 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.137 after rising to around 96.4 recently.
The Japanese yen traded at 113.61 per dollar, weaker than levels below 113.4 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7144, still struggling to recover after last week’s drop from above $0.725.
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