Chinese tech stocks jump as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rises nearly 2%
SINGAPORE — Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among the major Asia-Pacific markets on Monday as Chinese tech stocks in the city jumped.
Investor sentiment may have been buoyed by a recent signal by Chinese authorities of progress toward resolving an audit dispute that’s threatened U.S.-listed Chinese firms with delisting.
Meanwhile, the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam announced Monday she will not be pursuing a second term in office.
Markets in mainland China are closed on Monday and Tuesday this week for holidays.
Over in Sri Lanka, trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange was paused for a second time on Monday after the S&P SL20 index dropped more than 7.5% from its last close. Trading at the exchange will be halted for the day if the benchmark index falls more than 10%.
Sri Lanka’s central bank governor announced in a Monday tweet that he had submitted his resignation to the country’s president. The country’s Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa also announced his resignation on Twitter.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.97% higher.
Yield curve inversions have historically happened ahead of recessions, though many economists believe the curve needs to stay inverted for a substantial amount of time before it gives a valid signal.
“I think at this point in time we’re probably not looking at a recessionary scenario yet,” Chen Zhikai, head of Asian equities at BNP Paribas Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.
“Everybody is looking for the next insights in terms of growth, and we got some of that last week with the employment numbers … from the U.S,” Chen said, adding that it’s “probably too early” at present for discussions on stagflation.
Those comments come as investors have been repositioning in anticipation of more aggressive tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve as it looks to fight inflation amid worries about slowing economic growth.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.561, as compared to levels below 98 seen in late March.
The Japanese yen traded at 122.65 per dollar, stronger than levels above 124 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7509, having traded in a range between $0.747 and $0.753 for much of last week.
— CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this report.