Hong Kong stocks lead losses in Asia; data shows China’s industrial profits jumped in September

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower in Wednesday trade, with Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong seeing big losses.

By Wednesday afternoon in Hong Kong, shares of Tencent dropped 3.15% while Alibaba fell 3.07% and Meituan plunged 4.1%. The Hang Seng Tech index slipped 3.32%.

The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong led losses among the region’s major markets, falling 1.52%.

Mainland Chinese stocks also declined, with the Shanghai composite shedding 0.92% and the Shenzhen component falling 1.13%.

Industrial profits in China surged 16.3% year-on-year in September, according to data released Thursday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.55% while the Topix index shed 0.54%. South Korea’s Kospi also slipped 0.92%.

Shares in Australia were little changed as the S&P/ASX 200 hovered above the flatline. Australia’s consumer price index rose 0.8% in the September 2021 quarter, data from the country’s Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday. The reading for quarterly consumer inflation was in line with expectations from a Reuters poll.

The Australian dollar rose to $0.7519 following the data release, against an earlier low of $0.7495.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.78%.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 15.73 points to a new record closing high of 35,756.88 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.18% to 4,574.79. The Nasdaq Composite rose fractionally to around 15,235.72.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.906 following a recent surge to levels around 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.96 per dollar, stronger than levels around 114.2 seen earlier against the greenback.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.53% to $85.94 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dipped 0.72% to $84.04 per barrel.

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