Asian markets closed lower but Hang Seng rises nearly 3% as Hong Kong plans to ease COVID-19 measures

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed at 27,574.43 points, down 111.97 points or -0.40%, as investors feared the U.S. federal funds rate would remain high for longer than expected and trigger an economic recession. The losers were Konami Corp.-2.70%, Minebea Mitsumi-2.28%, and Taiyo Yuden-2.08%. The winners were Softbank Group Corp.+2.15%, Daiichi Sankyo+1.75%, and Nippon Yusen K.K+1.45%.

In Australia, stock markets continued to close in the red after volatility on Wednesday (December 7). The S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,175.50 points, down 53.90 points or -0.75%, and the All Ordinaries closed at 7,369.40 points, down 53.80 points or -0.72%. The losers were Downer Edi-20.42%, Collins Foods-6.10%, and South32-5.08%. The winners were Resolute Mining+7.69%, Westgold Resources+3.95%, and Silver Lake Resources+3.88%.

The South Korean Composite (KOSPI) closed down 11.73 points, or -0.49%, at 2,371.08 for the fifth consecutive day, while the won gained against the U.S. dollar. The losers were Young Poong Pa-18.93%, Jeju Bank-14.70%, and Feelux-12.43%. The winners were Kumbi+15.11%, Netmarble Games+9.38%, and SoCar+9.07%.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed marginally lower at 3,197.35, down 2.27 points or -0.07%. The worst performers were Hubei Kaile-5.11%, Amethystium Storage Technology Co-6.04%, and Essence Information Technology Co-5.79%. The best performers were Xiamen Xiangyu+1.23%, China CYTS Tours+2.02%, and Zhejiang Commodties+5.40%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 635.41 points, or 3.38%, at 19,450.23, following reports that the Hong Kong government is considering lifting the requirement to wear face masks outdoors. This is part of a plan to relax strict measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. The worst performers were China Oral Industry Holdings-29.49%, Kiu Hung Intl-24.44%, and New City Development-24%. The best performers were CCT Fortis+31.58%, Powerlong Real Etale+31.58%, and Yida China+27.27%.

In Thailand, the SET closed at 1,620.49 points, down 1.79 points or -0.11%, with relatively low trading volume as investors are still concerned about the global economic recession. In addition, investment sentiment slowed to reduce risk before the start of the long vacation season. The losers were Nation Group-21.05%, Thai Wacoal-5.41%, and S&J International Co, Ltd -6.30%. The winners were TPBI+12%, T.Krungthai Industry+9.52%, and Rockworth+8.28%.

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