Mainland Chinese Stocks Tumble

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors continued to watch China’s COVID situation along with moves in the Japanese yen.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 leaped 335.21 points, or 1.2%, to 27,553.06.

The Japanese yen traded at 128.13 per U.S. dollar after strengthening from levels above 129 against the greenback yesterday.

Still, the Japanese currency remains weaker as compared with levels below 126 seen against the dollar last week. The yen has struggled for weeks against the dollar amid expectations the Bank of Japan will be slower in normalizing monetary policy than the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong tumbled another 262.45 points, or 1.3%, to 20,682.22

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7451, still higher than levels below $0.736 seen earlier this week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 74.96 points, or 1.8%, to 3,995.83.

Shares of Chinese oil firm CNOOC, however, soared more than 27% from their issue price as they made their Shanghai debut. CNOOC’s Hong Kong-listed shares, on the other hand, declined 2.5%.

Investors watched for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to grapple with its most severe COVID wave since the initial outbreak in 2020. Its strict zero-COVID policy has raised questions about China’s economic outlook.

China remains “well-positioned to further stimulate growth,” especially when inflation is “not really an issue” currently in the country, according to experts.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index edged ahead 13.14 points, or 0.4%, to 3,348.46

In Korea, the Kospi index recovered 9.52 points, or 0.4%, to 2,728.21.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index retreated 20.93 points, or 0.1%, to 17,127.95.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 sagged 12.19 points, or 0.1%, to 11,954.

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 23.56 points, or 0.3%, to 7,592.79.