Asia

Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as China tech shares in Hong Kong fall amid renewed regulatory fears

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday morning trade as investors monitored Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong after regulatory concerns resurfaced.

In early trading on Friday morning, Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech firms fell. Kuaishou plunged 6.13% while Tencent slipped 0.83% and Meituan dropped 1.36%. The broader Hang Seng Tech index declined 0.8%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index overall fell 0.37%.

Bloomberg News reported that Beijing is considering harsh penalties on ride-hailing giant Didi. The penalties being planned range from a fine likely bigger than the record $2.8 billion Alibaba paid earlier this year to even a forced delisting after Didi’s IPO last month.

Shares of Didi stateside plunged more than 11% on Thursday. Earlier in July, the firm was forced to stop signing up new users and also had its app removed from Chinese app stores due to alleged collection and use of personal data.

That development came as Beijing continues its months-long crackdown on China’s tech behemoths, targeting issues from anti-trust to data regulation.

Mixed Asia-Pacific markets

The broader Asia-Pacific markets struggled for direction. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite declined 0.23% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.393%.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.28%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 hovered above the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded largely flat.

Markets in Japan are closed on Friday for a holiday.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 25.35 points higher to 34,823.35 while the S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 4,367.48. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.36% to 14,684.60.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.795 — off levels above 93 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.16 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.6 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7385, above levels below $0.732 seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down fractionally to $73.74 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.13% to $71.82 per barrel.

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