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Oct 19, 2020

Asian Markets Closing Report: Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as China reports third-quarter GDP jump; Alibaba shares in Hong Kong rise

 

Eustance Huang


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday, as investors reacted to the release of China’s GDP data.

Mainland Chinese stocks were lower on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.71% to around 3,312.67 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.824% to about 13,421.19.

China’s third-quarter GDP grew 4.9% as compared to a year ago, according to data released Monday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That compared against expectations by Chinese economists of 5.2% GDP growth in the third quarter, according to an average of estimates compiled by Wind Information, a financial information database.

Meanwhile, retail sales in China rose 3.3% in September from a year earlier.

OCBC Bank’s Vasu Menon described the Chinese retail sales print as a “big surprise.”

“The headline numbers seem like they’ve missed the mark but when you drill down to the details, especially domestic consumption, I think that offers some room for optimism,” Menon, executive director of investment strategy, wealth management Singapore at the firm, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.

“Bear in mind that 4.9% growth is still a decent number — especially given the current environment — and is a pick up from the previous quarter which was 3.2%,” he said.

Asia-Pacific markets mixed

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.86%, with shares of HSBC listed in the city gaining more than 2.5%.

Shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong rose 1.22%. The Chinese tech giant’s financial technology affiliate Ant Group has received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for the Hong Kong leg of its anticipated listing, a source told CNBC.

Meanwhile, Sun Art Retail Group’s stock soared more than 18% after Alibaba announced it agreed to acquire controlling stakes in the firm.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.11% to close at 23,671.13 while the Topix index added 1.25% to end its trading day at 1,637.98.

Japan’s exports fell 4.9% as compared to a year earlier in September, according to trade statistics released by the country’s Ministry of Finance on Monday.

South Korea’s Kospi also advanced 0.22% to close at 2,346.74.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.85% to 6,229.40.

In Southeast Asia, the SET Composite index in Thailand fell more than 1.5% as protests continued in the country.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.53%.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI23671.13260.501.11
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI24543.47156.680.64
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2006229.4052.600.85
.SSECShanghaiSHANGHAI3312.67-23.69-0.71
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2346.745.210.22
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009498.0575.880.81

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.725 after touching levels around 93.9 in recent days.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.44 per dollar after seeing levels below 105.3 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7097 following its decline last week from levels above $0.715.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.33% to $43.07 per barrel. U.S. crude futures added 0.37% to $41.03 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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