Asia Mixed as Hong Kong Property Firms Gains

Asia Pacific markets traded mixed on Thursday as investors remained cautious over global growth outlook and the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The Nikkei 225 docked 21.06 points, or 0.1%, to 22,451.86.

The Japanese yen, which is considered a safe-haven asset, changed hands at 108.77 per U.S. dollar, weakening from around 107.400 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index leaped 184.21 points, or 0.7%, to 26,848.49, with shares of property developers jumping after the city’s leader Carrie Lam announced on Wednesday measures to ease a housing shortage and calm anti-government protests.

Shares of New World Development advanced 4.5%, Henderson Land was up 2.4% and CK Asset gained 0.6%.

Shares in Singapore fell. The Southeast Asian country, which recently dodged a technical recession, said on Thursday its non-oil domestic exports slipped by 8.1% in September — worse than the 7% forecast by experts. That’s the seventh straight month of exports contraction in Singapore

Australian markets dropped as the materials sector declined by 2%. Major miners fell: Rio Tinto was down 2.9%, Fortescue Metals dropped 4% and BHP shares tumbled 3.3%.

In company news, BHP reported a 3% drop in its iron ore production for the three months that ended in September, citing planned maintenance at an important iron ore port in Western Australia. Still, it maintained production and unit cost guidance for the 2020 financial year.

Meanwhile, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed seasonally-adjusted employment in the country grew by an estimated 14,700. That figure was lower than the 15,000 that analysts had predicted.

The Australian dollar rose after the release of the employment report, trading at $0.6782 — around 0.41% higher than the previous day.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 edged up 2.53 points, or 0.1%, to 3,925.22

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 24.05 points, or 0.2%, to 11,186.88

In Korea, the Kospi doffed 4.89 points, or 0.2%, to 2,077.94

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index slumped 8.57 points, or 0.3%, to 3,126.14

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 deleted 36.78 points, or 0.3%, to 11,141.86

In Australia, the ASX 200 dipped 51.86 points, or 0.8%, to 6,684.68