Asia Mostly Down, Hong Kong Falls 2%

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on Thursday, while shares of K-pop superstars BTS’ label, Big Hit Entertainment, surged on the first day of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 119.5 points, or 0.5%, to 23,507.23.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.21 per U.S. dollar, having strengthened from levels above 105.3 against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dumped 508.55 points, or 2.1%, to 24,158.54.

In corporate developments, shares of Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong gained 6.1% following reports that the city and Singapore have reached an in-principle agreement establish a bilateral air travel bubble. In Singapore, shares of national carrier Singapore Airlines were 0.3% higher as of about 4:22 p.m. local time.

Big Hit Entertainment’s IPO in South Korea opened at 270,000 Korean won (approx. $236 U.S.) per share, according to Refinitiv Eikon.

That’s double the stock’s issue price of 135,000 Korean won apiece. Shares extended gains after the open before weakening, ending their first trading day more than 90% higher than the issue price.

Other South Korea entertainment firms stocks, however, saw declines: YG Entertainment fell 6.8%, JYP Entertainment slipped 5.3% and SM Entertainment shed 6.7%.

Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis in September, according to headline estimates released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7089 following levels above $0.72 seen earlier this week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 slid 8.36 points, or 0.2%, to 4,798.74.

China’s consumer price index rose 1.7% in September compared to a year ago, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Economists’ expected a 1.8% increase. Producer price index fell 2.1% in September compared to a year earlier. That compared against a forecast of a 1.8% decline by analysts,

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index forfeited 19.27 points, or 0.8%, to 2,361.21.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index faltered 91.49 points, or 0.7%, to 12,827.82.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index slipped 31.97 points, or 1.3%, to 2,523.62.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 subtracted 56.88 points, or 0.5%, to 12,486.73.

In Australia, the ASX 200 bucked the trend and gained 31.13 points, or 0.3%, to 6,179.17.