Asia-Pacific Shares

Asia-Pacific Shares Settle Mixed; China Down on Regulatory Concerns, Aussie Stocks Close at Record High

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes closed mixed on Friday, but mostly higher with China and Hong Kong markets taking a hit on renewed regulatory concerns. Also contributing to the mixed mood following a volatile trading week was a drop in investor sentiment on rising concerns over the pace of global growth tied to the COVID Delta variant outbreak.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27548.00, up 159.84 or +0.58%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27321.98, down 401.86 or -1.45% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3254.42, up 4.21 or +0.13%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3550.40, down 24.34, down 0.68% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7394.40, up 8.00 or +0.11%.

China Shares Fall amid Renewed Regulatory Fears

Chinese tech firms listed in the city tumbled after Bloomberg News reported that Beijing is considering harsh penalties on ride-hailing giant Didi. The penalties being planned range from a fine likely bigger than the record $2.8 billion Alibaba paid earlier this year to even a forced delisting after Didi’s IPO last month.

Shares of Didi stateside plunged more than 11% on Thursday. Earlier in July, the firm was forced to stop signing up new users and also had its app removed from Chinese app stores due to alleged collection and use of personal data.

That development came as Beijing continues its months-long crackdown on China’s tech behemoths, targeting issues from anti-trust to data regulations.

Hong Kong Stocks Fall as Tech, Education and Property Shares Drop

Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday, dragged down by technology, education and property shares, as deepening concerns over Beijing’s tighter regulations weighed on sentiment.

The Hang Seng Tech Index slumped nearly 3% to the lowest closing level since October, 2020.

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc’s Hong Kong-traded shares plunged 41% to a record low, amid deepening concerns over China’s crackdown on tutoring businesses.

China will crack down on after-school tutoring businesses and ban listings of tutoring institutions, according to a soft copy of government document circulating on social media. Reuters was unable to immediately verify its authenticity.

Hong Kong-listed property shares also fell as worries over tough regulations linger. Chinese local governments should strictly control financing for property developers, including bank loans and improve land pricing mechanisms, state television quoted Vice Premier Han Zheng as saying on Thursday.

Australian Shares End at Record High on Healthcare, Tech Boost

Australian shares closed at a record high after a choppy afternoon trade on Friday, as gains in healthcare and tech stocks slightly outweighed losses in financial and energy firms.

Healthcare stocks added 1.3% and led gains on the benchmark index. The closing marked a fourth positive finish in the past five sessions.

Australian tech stocks followed suit, firming nearly 1% on strong cues from their Wall Street peers overnight.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Published by

James Hyerczyk

James A. Hyerczyk has worked as a fundamental and technical financial market analyst since 1982. His technical work features the pattern, price and time analysis techniques of W.D. Gann.