SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks were lower in trading Wednesday morning, with Hong Kong stocks struggling to recover from a two-day loss.
In Wednesday morning trade, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.28% after rising more than 1% earlier. This was followed by a decline of more than 8% in two days earlier this week, sparked by regulatory fears surrounding sectors such as technology and private education.
Analysts at Bespoke Investment Group pointed out that there was only one other period in 2011 when the Hang Seng fell more than 7.5% for two days. Since then, they have written: “There has not been a single two-day decline since the financial crisis that has exceeded the extent of the past two days.”
Hong Kong Chinese tech stocks, which were hardest hit by the recent sell-off, were mixed in trading Wednesday morning.
Hong Kong internet giant Tencent fell 4.39%, while Alibaba was down 1.39% and Meituan was down 2.22%. The Hang Seng Tech Index was down 0.54%.
Shares in private education companies, another sector hit by regulatory scrutiny, rebounded with New Oriental Education & Technology Group up 9.3% while Koolearn Technology rose 8.12%.
Mainland Chinese stocks also continued to decline: the Shanghai composite lost 1.28% while the Shenzhen component lost 1.153%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 1.21% in morning trading while the Topix index was down 0.83%. South Korea’s Kospi lost about 0.1%.
The S & P / ASX 200 in Australia lost 0.5%.
MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.63%.
Mitsubishi Motors stock in Japan rose about 8% in trading Wednesday morning after the automaker raised its operating profit forecast for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 by 33.3%.
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The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, hit 92.454 after falling over 92.7 recently.
The Japanese yen was trading at 109.83 the dollar, stronger than the 110.4 levels seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7361 above the below $ 0.732 level hit last week.
Oil prices were higher on the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude oil futures rising 0.54% to $ 74.88 a barrel. US crude oil futures rose 0.64% to $ 72.11 a barrel.