China stocks lead losses in Asia; Ant Group files for Hong Kong-Shanghai listing

Shares in mainland China led losses among Asia Pacific’s major markets on Wednesday in a mixed trading day regionally.

Mainland Chinese stocks led losses among the region’s major markets, with the Shanghai composite down 1.3% to close at about 3,329.74 while the Shenzhen component declined 1.763% to finish its trading day at around 13,428.40. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was little changed on the day at 25,491.79.

Elsewhere, the picture was more mixed. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed little changed at 23,290.86 while the Topix index finished its trading day slightly lower at 1,624.48. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.11% to close at 2,369.32.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.73% to close at 6,116.40.

Over in New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 ended its trading day 0.32% higher at 12,031.51. Trading on the country’s stock exchange was halted earlier on Wednesday following a potential second cyber attack, Reuters reported citing the NZX. 

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was fractionally higher.

In corporate developments, Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Group on Tuesday filed for a concurrent listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR market — a Nasdaq-style tech board — and the Hong Kong stock exchange. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba rose 4.16% on Wednesday.

Ant Group, which runs the highly popular Alipay mobile payments app in China, has not disclosed details about the pricing of its shares.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose to all-time highs. The broader market index added 0.4% to close at 3,443.62 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.8% to end its trading day at 11,466.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged as it declined 60.02 points, or 0.2%, to close at 28,248.44 — snapping a three-day winning streak.

The moves stateside came on the back of mixed economic data. U.S. Census on Tuesday reported a 36% surge in sales of newly built homes in July. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, however, fell for a second straight month to 84.8 in August from July’s 91.7.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.123 following levels above 93.2 seen earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.21 per dollar after seeing an earlier low of 106.55 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7201, in a trading week that has seen in mostly trading between $0.716 and $0.72.

Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures flat at $45.86 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were 0.21% lower at $43.26 per barrel.

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