Asia-Pacific markets mixed, oil prices decrease further

On Thursday, Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed after the losses on Wall Street, as shares in Hong Kong, Japan, and China struggled for increases.

Hang Seng tech index, the Nasdaq-style technology board, sold off nearly 3.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 1.37%.

Some of the leading tech names listed in Hong Kong decreased sharply: Meituan declined 3.22%, Alibaba was down 4.93%, J.D. was down 3.29%, Tencent slipped 2.49%, and Baidu dipped 7.85%.

Mainland China shares also traded lower: The Shanghai composite decreased 0.14% while the Shenzhen component dropped 0.5%.

The Kospi in South Korea shifted earlier losses of over 0.9% to trade near flat. The Kosdaq also reversed losses of more than 1.1% to trade up 0.23%.

Japanese shares increased losses from the prior session. The Topix declined 0.54% on Thursday, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.83%.

Australian shares started the downward trend as the ASX 200 had early losses to trade up 0.17%. However, the energy sector persisted under pressure in the middle of a sell-off in crude futures. During an afternoon trade, Santos, Woodside Petroleum, and Oil Search declined more than 1.1% each.

The country’s Big Four banks were also under pressure:

Shares of Commonwealth Bank descended 1.4%.
ANZ went down 1.23%.
The National Australia Bank was down 0.87%.
Westpac lost 0.77%.

Analysts at ANZ Research said in a note that equities remained soft on inflation concerns. Supply limitations weighed on housing in the U.S. while U.K. inflation appeared stronger than expected.

The Consumer Price Index in the U.K. increased by 4.3% in the 12 months to up from 3.2%, beating economists’ expectations of 3.8%.

Analysts expect Wednesday’s data to add pressure on the BoE to act on interest rates at its meeting scheduled in December. The central bank kept rates steady this month, challenging many investors’ expectations that it might be the first leading central bank to hike rates after the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil prices decreased in the prior session in the middle of growing concerns about the recovery in demand and oversupply.

On Thursday, the oil price decreased more during Asian trading hours. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 1.08% to $77.53, while Brent crude futures dropped 0.53% to $79.87 a barrel.

On Thursday, ANZ Research analysts wrote that the release of the weekly U.S. EIA report showed a significant reduction in inventories.




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