Asian stocks closed mostly higher as China seeks to ease COVID measures after the services sector continued to contract in November – Asian currencies were among the big gainers on Monday

Asian markets closed mixed on Monday. Among the big winners, today were the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and China’s Shanghai index, which rose by 4.51% and 2% respectively. The early-week surge came as the news made the rounds that Chinese authorities appeared to have agreed to ease stringent COVID measures. In the last two months, there had been repeated lockdowns in economically important cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. This also raised hopes that the country would open up. The latter is also urgently needed, as activity in the manufacturing and service sectors continued to decline in November.

Asian currencies were among the big gainers on Monday, led by the Chinese yuan, which gained 0.9% at times. In addition, the South Korean won gained 0.8% and the SGD gained 0.5%. The Japanese yen recovered from its October low and has since gained more than 13%.

The Nikkei in Tokyo closed at 27,820.40 points, up 42.50 points or 0.15%. The winners were Eisai+5.18%, Fast Retailing+3.11%, and Yaskawa Electric Corp.+3.09%. The losers were T&D Holdings, Inc.-3.16%, Oki Electric Industry-3.14%, and Nikon Corp.-3.10%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 closed at 7,325.60 points, up +24.10 points or 0.33%. The winners were Resolute Mining+16.67, Fortescue Metals+6.86%, and Beach Energy+5.28%. The losers were Omini Bridgeway Ltd-7.36%, Pilbara Minerals Ltd-5.14%, and IGO Ltd-4.90%.

South Korea’s KOSPI fell to 2,419.32 points, down 15.01 points or 0.62%. The losers were Pyung Hwa Hldg-9.69%, In The F-9.41%, and Jeiu Bank-9.09%. The winners were Pan-Pacific+20.96%, KakaoPay.+16.42%, and Jeju Air Co Ltd +10.67%.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed at 19,518.29 points, up 842.94 points or 4.51%. The best performers were CCIAM Future Energy (+43.59%), Ping An Healthcare Tech (+37.91%), and Times Neighborhood (+36.25%). The worst performers were Unity Holdings International-72%, WAC Holdings-26%, and SV Vision-24.14%.

China’s Shanghai closed at 12,954.42 points, up 254.47 points or 2%. The best performers were Shenzhen Urban Transport Planning (+20.02%), Miracle Chemicals(+19.98%), and China Railway Prefabricated Construction(+16.67%). Frontier Biotechnologies-10.48%, Jiangsu Linyang Energy-10.04%, and Echom Sci&Tech A-10.04% were the worst performers.

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