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China stocks lead in Asia-Pacific; yuan holds gains against the dollar

FXcoins - China stocks lead in Asia-Pacific; yuan holds gains against the dollar

Asia-Pacific equities were mostly higher in trading on Friday, with the Chinese yuan maintaining its recent gains against the dollar.

Mainland Chinese stocks rose in major markets in the region, with the Shanghai composite up 2.07% to around 3338.09 and the Shenzhen component up 1.766% to 13,245.09. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index rose 0.28% in the last hour of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.18% higher at 23,360.30, while the Topix Index added 0.49% to end its day at 1,646.42. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.26% to 2,412.40.

Australian stocks were bucking the general trend as they declined for the day, with the S & P / ASX 200 shedding 0.32% to hit 5,864.50.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index added 0.45%.

In corporate events, Malaysian glove maker Top Glove gained more than 2% in Friday afternoon trading.

The company on Thursday announced its fourth quarter and full fiscal 2020 earnings, with profit after tax for the full fiscal 2020 growing 417% over the previous fiscal year. In a press release, the company said that "the colossal growth was the result of a global surge in glove demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic."

In Japan, shares of the conglomerate Softbank Group fell 1.09% on the day. The company announced that it will sell its entire stake in mobile services company Brightstar, founded by Marcelo Claure, the current COO of SoftBank.

The domestic Chinese yuan, which has strengthened significantly against the dollar in recent days, rose to 6.7523 per dollar after levels above 6.81 seen earlier this week. Its offshore counterpart changed hands at $ 6.7484 per dollar.

"As the dollar entered this dollar depreciation, in this weaker dollar environment, (the yuan) has lagged somewhat." said Alex Wolf of JPMorgan Private Bank.

“When we look at (yuan), we really didn't see such a dramatic rise until recently,” Wolf, the company's head of investment strategy for Asia, told CNBC's Squawk Box Asia on Friday. ... He added that the Chinese currency probably still has to catch up.

Shares of tech companies in the Asia-Pacific region traded in different directions on Friday. Sharp shares rose 1.88% in Japan. In South Korea, shares of major manufacturer Samsung Electronics fell 0.34%, while Kakao rose 0.54%.

Meanwhile, shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent, registered in Hong Kong, fell 1.04% and Xiaomi shares jumped 3.29% in daytime trading.

The regional shifts in tech stocks came amid renewed pressure on their counterparts on Wall Street. Overnight in the US, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.3% to 10910.28. The hi-tech benchmark index briefly returned to the correction zone, falling 10% from an all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average showed a four-day winning streak, dropping 130.40 points, or 0.5%, to end the day at 27,901.98. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%, or 28.48 points, to 3,357.01 points.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon during Asian trading hours, with Brent crude futures on the world market rising 0.79% to $ 43.64 a barrel. US crude oil futures rose 0.83% to $ 41.31 a barrel.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of peers, stood at 92.821 after falling from levels above 93.3 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.58 against the dollar, strengthening from levels above 105.5 against the US dollar seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar traded at $ 0.7318 in the trading week, when it hovered between levels below $ 0.729 and above $ 0.732.

18 September 2020

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