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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumps almost 2%, leading gains in mixed Asia-Pacific trading day

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday following heavy losses for some regional markets in the previous trading day, as investors continued to assess the impact of a potentially faster-than-expected policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.82% to close at 23,493.38, leading gains among the major markets.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Shimao Group dropped 5.43% after Reuters reported that the developer defaulted on a trust loan.

Shares of other Chinese real estate companies listed in the city, however, saw gains: China Evergrande Group climbed 4.85% and Sunac jumped 4.08%. The Hang Seng Properties index gained 2.54%.

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese stocks closed lower. The Shanghai composite fell 0.18% to 3,579.54 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.595% to 14,343.65.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed earlier gains closed marginally lower at 28,478.56, adding to losses after a nearly 3% drop on Thursday. The Topix index also finished the trading day fractionally lower at 1,995.68.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.18%, closing at 2,954.89. Shares in Australia were up on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 rising 1.29% to 7,774.40.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.75% higher.

Markets were spooked earlier in the week and fell sharply after minutes from the Fed’s December meeting showed officials at the central bank ready to aggressively dial back policy help.

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose as high as 1.75% on Thursday, last sitting at 1.7302% — still much higher after ending 2021 at 1.51%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 170.64 points to 36,236.47 while the S&P 500 shed about 0.1% to 4,696.05. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.13% to about 15,080.87.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.189 — holding above levels below 96 seen earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.91 per dollar, stronger than levels above 116 against the greenback seen yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7152 after yesterday’s drop from above $0.72.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.22% to $82.17 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.25% to $79.66 per barrel.

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