Asian stock markets mixed – investors pay attention to Fed meeting minutes

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed at a 10-month low of 25,716.86 points on its first trading day of 2023, down 377.64 points, or -1.45%, as investors feared that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) may tighten monetary policy. As a result, the yen currency appreciated against the US dollar. The losers were Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha-7.21%, Nippon Yusen K.K-6.51%, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines-6.23%. Nippon Sheet Glass+4.59%, Mitsubishi UF J Financial+4.18%, and T&D Holdings, Inc.+3.36% were the winners.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,059.20, up 113.00 or +1.63%, and the All Ordinaries closed at 7,249.10, up 118.00 or +1.65%, with banking and mining stocks leading the market. Investors will be keeping an eye on the release of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes today. Magellan Financial Group+8.60%,, and Appen Ltd+6.58% were the winners. The losers were Woodside Energy-2.38%, Viva Energy-1.87%, and Zip-1.77%.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed higher for the second consecutive day at 3,123.52 points, up 7.00 points or +0.22%, as investors continued to expect the Chinese economy to recover after the end of the COVID-19 epidemic crisis. Shenzhen QianRui Precision Technology (+20%), Guangzhou Shangpin Homellection (+15.34%), and Messenger (+13.61%) were the best performers. The worst performers were GI Technologies Beijing-20.14%, Fengyuan Phar A-10.03%, and Heilongjiang Interchina-10.03%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 647.82 points, or 3.22%, at 20,793.11, supported by a surge in technology stocks after Chinese regulators gave the green light to Jack Ma’s financial technology company, Ant Group, to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for its consumer business. Speedy Global (+98.63%), Link Asia Intl (+69.49%), and Tristate (+61.02%) were the best performers. The worst performers were Reach New-33.33%, Quali-Smart-28.65%, and Good Fellow Healthcare Holdings-25.93%.

The Korea Composite Stock Exchange (KOSPI) rose 37.3 points, or 1.68%, to 2,255.98 after four straight days of declines as foreign investors bought chipmakers. Comtec Sys+15.51%, Sam Hwa Capaci+11.09%, and Jeil Pharm+8.39% were the winners. The losers were Kc Cottrell-18.36%, Kyongbo Pharmaceutical Co Ltd-8.41%, and InBioGen Co Ltd-7.47%.

In Thailand, the SET closed at 1,674.39 points, down 5.12 points or 0.30%. The losers were Wattana Phaet-22.75%, Boutique New City-11.76%, and Samart Digital-11.11%. The winners were Next Capital+9.64%, Mono Technology+9.27%, and Seven Utilities+8.86%.

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