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Asian Markets Closing Report: Hong Kong leads gains as Asia investors wait for U.S. election result; regional tech shares surge


Eustance Huang

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher on Thursday as investors continued to wait for the result of the U.S. election.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among the region’s major markets and surged 3.25% to close at 25,695.92.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.73% to close at 24,105.28 while the Topix index ended its trading day 1.39% higher at 1,649.94. Over in South Korea, the Kospi gained 2.4% to close at 2,413.79.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.3% to about 3,320.13 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.72% to 13,894.26.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose — the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.28% to close at 6,139.60. Australia’s exports of goods and services in September rose 4% month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 2.38%.

Investor focus remained on the U.S. election, though a call in the presidential race is not expected soon as several states could take until later this week to complete official tallies, according to officials.

Asian techs surge

Shares of tech firms in Asia surged on Thursday, following robust gains seen overnight on Wall Street for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

In Hong Kong, shares of Alibaba listed in the city were up 6.28% on the day. The stock’s gain came after a 7% tumble on Wednesday when the anticipated initial public offering of its affiliate Ant Group was suspended due to regulatory concerns.

Chinese tech behemoth Tencent also saw its shares in Hong Kong gain 6.2%, while the Hang Seng Tech index jumped 5.45% to close at 8,181.62 .

In Japan, shares of conglomerate Softbank Group soared 5.13%. Kakao Games shares in South Korea also popped 4.15%.

.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI24105.28410.051.73
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI25695.92809.783.25
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2006139.6077.501.28
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2413.7956.472.40
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009790.87217.802.28

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.132 after seeing an earlier high of 93.545.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.34 per dollar after strengthening yesterday from levels above 104.8 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7197 following yesterday’s rise from levels below $0.712.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.73% at $40.93 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 0.87% to $38.81 per barrel.


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