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James Hyerczyk
Asia Pacific Shares

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly higher on Thursday following Wall Street’s lead after the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high the previous session. The lone loser was the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which fell after the New York Stock Exchange changed its mind and moved to delist Chinese telecoms firms again.

In the cash market on Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27490.13, up 434.19 or +1.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27548.52, down 143.78 or -0.52% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3031.68, up 63.47 or +2.14%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3576.20, up 25.33 or +0.71% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6712.00, up 104.90 or +1.59%.

Hong Kong Stocks Ended Lower on NYSE’s U-Turn to Delist 3 Chinese Telecoms

Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng Index ended Thursday lower, after the New York Stock Exchange moved to delist Chinese telecoms firms again. The New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it would delist three Chinese telecom companies, confirming its latest U-turn on the matter.

The NYSE’s announcement came a day after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the NYSE chief he disagreed with an earlier decision to reverse the delistings. Hong Kong shares of China Unicom led losses among the three telecom stocks, falling 11.35% at market close, the biggest loser on the Hang Seng for the day. China Mobile fell 7.18% and China Telecom Corp dropped 9.38% at market close.

In other related news the Trump administration is considering adding tech giants Alibaba and Tencent to a blacklist of firms allegedly owned or controlled by the Chinese military, two people familiar with the matter said.

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Japan’s Nikkei Hits 30-year High as Financials Gain on Democrat Control of Senate

Japanese shares ended higher on Thursday, with the Nikkei touching a 30-year peak, powered by financials as U.S. bond yields climbed on expectations of larger stimulus following a Democrat sweep in two Senate runoffs in Georgia.

The Nikkei average closed 1.60% higher at 27, 490.13, hitting its highest level since August 1990 at one point during the session and snapping a four-day losing streak.

Shares of Japanese banks and insurers, big investors in U.S. debt, are highly correlated with U.S. bond yields and were boosted by moves in the Treasury market.

Aussie Shares Close Higher

Australian markets rallied as a Democrat sweep in the U.S. Senate race lifted stimulus hopes. Closer home, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the national cabinet will meet a month earlier than scheduled to discuss strengthening border processes amid the spread of a more contagious variant of COVID-19 that emerged in Britain.

Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Santos surged 5-7 percent as oil prices rose for a third day on data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and amid Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut output.

The big four banks rose 2-4 percent, while gold miners ended broadly lower after gold futures settled with a loss of more than 2 percent on Wednesday.

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