The major Asia Pacific stock indexes finished mixed-to-mostly lower on Wednesday as some investors reacted to the weak performance on Wall Street the previous session and other responded to a speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Shares in Japan and Hong Kong were closed higher, while Australia, South Korea and China posted losses.
In the cash market in Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23626.73, up 24.95 or +0.11%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24667.09, up 17.41 or +0.07% and South Korea closed at 2380.48, down 22.67 or -0.94%.
China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3340.78, down 18.97 or -0.56% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished at 6179.20, down 16.50 or -0.27%.
Xi Jinping Offers Hope for Chinese, Hong Kong Investors
Investors had a mixed reaction to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shenzhen on Wednesday, as the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone celebrated the 40th anniversary of its establishment.
Xi emphasized the importance of protecting the “legitimate rights and interests of entrepreneurs, property rights as well as intellectual property rights in accordance with the law,” according to a translation of his speech. That would “motivate entrepreneurs to start up and develop their businesses,” he said.
State media outlet Xinhua reported Sunday that the country “unveiled a new comprehensive reform plan for Shenzhen,” giving local authorities there a “more direct and greater say in business” in areas such as carrying out market-based economic reforms.
Hong Kong Shares End Higher as China’s Xi Speech Lifts Tech Stocks
Hong Kong shares recovered lost ground to close higher on Wednesday, as tech stocks climbed after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Shenzhen speech emphasized on property rights and protection for entrepreneurs, lifting risk appetite.
Heavyweight stock Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Shenzhen-based tech giant, hit an all-time high and closed up 3.1% after Xi’s speech.
Hong Kong listed shares of China Evergrande Group tanked by 16.96% after the firm announced a share placement with estimated gross proceeds of 4.3 billion Hong Kong Dollars ($555 million).
Singapore’s Economy Shrinks at Slower Pace than Expected
Singapore’s economic contraction slowed in the third quarter this year, as the country allowed more activities to resume after a partial lockdown, according to official estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Southeast Asian economy contracted by 7% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, the ministry said. That slightly missed the 6.8% year-over-year contraction forecast by a Reuters poll of analysts, and was slower than the revised 13.3% year-on-year decline in the previous quarter.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.