Asia Recovers Sharply on More Vaccinations

Stocks in Hong Kong closed at session highs as Chinese health authorities reported recent uptick in senior vaccination rates, which is regarded by experts as crucial to reopening the economy that has been facing sporadic lockdowns.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 134.99 points, or 0.4%, to 28,027.84, as retail sales data missed expectations and the nation’s unemployment rate was unchanged from September.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng exploded, gaining 906.74 points, or 5.2%, to 18,204.68.

The Hang Seng is on pace to post its best month since April 1999, when the index gained 21.85%.

The index rose more than 3% as of Tuesday morning, and is up around 22% for the month of November, according to Refinitiv data.

Singapore banks’ exposure to cryptocurrency is insignificant, said the chairman of Singapore’s central bank.

In response to a question in parliament, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said banks will be required to hold $125 Singaporean dollars of capital for every $100 of cryptocurrency.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 recovered 115.18 points, or 3.1%, to 3,848.42, as the nation’s COVID cases on Monday were lower than Sunday’s count, the first decline since Nov. 19.

A Chinese official on Tuesday described long-term lockdowns and related measures as “wrongful” if imposed for long periods.

He said there needs to be “better zoning of high- and low-risk regions” and that a high-risk area can be defined as a single unit or a building. He added that it “should not be arbitrarily expanded to a bigger scope.”

Separately, he said ad-hoc working committees have been established to “deal with the wrongful practice of arbitrary imposition of restrictions.”

Both the onshore and offshore Chinese yuan strengthened against the dollar in Asia’s session ahead of a press conference on Covid measures.

The greenback lost 1.1% against the offshore yuan and 0.65% against the onshore yuan, with both trading around 7.16-levels. The offshore yuan traded near 7.24 per dollar before it strengthened sharply.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex jumped 152.77 points, or 1.1%, to 14,709.64.

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 25.12 points, or 1%, to 2,433.39.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index restocked 36.3 points, or 1.1%, to 3,276.36.

In Australia, the ASX 200 recaptured 24.17 points, or 0.3%, to 7,253.31.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 hiked 87.04 points, or 0.8%, to 11,395.35.