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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1% in mixed Asia trade; South Korea GDP beats estimates


SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Tuesday as South Korea’s gross domestic product beat estimates.

The Kospi in South Korea recovered from losses to rise 0.43%, while the Kosdaq gained 0.11%.

South Korea’s economy grew 0.7% in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of 2022, according to estimates released by the Bank of Korea.

That compared to 0.4% growth expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. The country’s GDP grew 0.6% in the January to March quarter.

“This morning’s print actually gives the [Bank of Korea] further room to pursue their priority in policy to tame inflation and inflation expectations before worrying about growth,” said Kathleen Oh, an economist at Bank of America Securities, on Tuesday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.65%, with Alibaba jumping 4.12%.

Alibaba on Tuesday said it will be applying for a primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where its shares are already listed, according to a press statement. If completed, the company will become a dual-primary listed company in Hong Kong and New York. That’s expected to happen before the end of 2022.

Mainland China stocks also climbed. The Shanghai Composite was 0.11% higher, while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.16%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was fractionally higher.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, declining 0.28%. The Topix index was close to the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.25%.

The Bank of Japan released the minutes for it June meeting on Tuesday, after keeping its interest rates at ultra-low levels last week.

Members of the BOJ policy board said the economy was on its way to recovery from the effects of Covid, but still needs strong support on the financial side due to pressure from the rise in commodity prices.

“They also agreed that it was necessary to pay due attention to developments in financial and foreign exchange markets and their impact on Japan’s economic activity and prices,” the minutes said.

The Japanese yen has weakened as the country’s monetary policy diverges from that of the Fed and much of the developed world.

The Japanese yen traded at 136.32 per dollar, stronger than last week’s levels.

Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500 gained 0.1% to close at 3,966.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 90.75 points, or 0.3%, to 31,990.04. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.4% to 11,782.67.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 106.250, off from this month’s highs.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6978.

The Aussie tracked higher in line with higher commodity prices, but is expected to trade in a tight range ahead of the inflation data report on Wednesday, Joseph Capurso, head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a Tuesday note.

Oil futures rose in Asia trade. U.S. crude rose 0.63% to $97.31 per barrel, while Brent crude rise 0.74% to $105.93 per barrel.

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