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Asia report: Hong Kong tumbles on mixed day for region

(Sharecast News) - Asia-Pacific markets experienced mixed performance on Tuesday, with Hong Kong leading the declines and Japanese stocks pausing their recent record-breaking rally. Patrick Munnelly at TickMill Group said stocks in the region faced pressure in the absence of guidance from Wall Street overnight, where markets were closed for the MLK Day holiday, alongside rising yields.

"The Nikkei 225 slipped below the 36,000 handle due to slightly higher yields and stronger-than-expected PPI data.

"Hang Seng and [the] Shanghai Composite followed the subdued sentiment, though losses on the mainland were initially softened after a significant People's Bank of China liquidity operation.

"Additionally, reports indicated that Beijing had advised some institutional investors in recent days not to sell stocks."

Hong Kong leads losers on mixed day for region

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.79% to close at 35,619.18, while the Topix index also fell by 0.82%, settling at 2,503.98.

Leading the decliners on Tokyo's benchmark was Toho, down 3.81%, followed by Dai Nippon Printing, off 3.47%, and Mitsubishi Materials, which was 3.4% weaker.

On the other hand, Chinese markets showed resilience, with the Shanghai Composite index edging up by 0.27% to reach 2,893.99 and the Shenzhen Component rising 0.31% to 8,992.07.

Among the top gainers in Shanghai were Center International Group and Harson Trading China, which jumped 10.04% and 10.03%, respectively.

Hong Kong, however, experienced a sharp decline, as the Hang Seng Index dropped by 2.16% to finish at 15,865.92.

The decline in the special administrative region was driven by notable losses for JD Health International, which lost 6.84%, while Longfor Properties slid 6.58% and Tingyi was off 5.67%.

In South Korea, the Kospi index retreated by 1.12% to close at 2,497.59, as Orion tumbled 17.51%, while Krafton declined 4.41%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index also saw a decline of 1.09%, closing at 7,414.80, led lower by Lovisa Holdings and Ansell, which slid 5.22% and 4.47%, respectively.

New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index had a relatively minor decrease of 0.02%, ending the day at 11,770.76.

Serko was down 3.57% and Fletcher Building lost 1.88% to lead the losers in Wellington.

In currency markets, the dollar was last up 0.52% on the yen to trade at JPY 146.49, while it rose 0.84% against the Aussie to AUD 1.5140.

The greenback also saw an uptick on the Kiwi, advancing 0.68% to change hands at NZD 1.6240.

On the oil front, Brent crude futures were last up 0.63% on ICE at $78.64 per barrel, while the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate gained 0.28% to reach $72.88.

Corporate goods prices unexpectedly rise in Japan

In economic news, Japan's corporate goods price index (CGPI) showed a month-on-month increase of 0.3% for the month of December.

The positive move defied the expectations of economists who participated in a Reuters poll, where the consensus had been that the CGPI would remain unchanged from its November figures.

Notably, the CGPI for December also managed to hold steady when compared to the same period a year earlier.

That was also contrary to what Reuters had anticipated, as economists had pencilled in a 0.3% decline for the year-on-year comparison.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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