Asia Markets

South Korea leads gains among Asia-Pacific markets; Xiaomi stock plunges

Key Points
  • Hong Kong-listed shares of Xiaomi, which were suspended earlier on Wednesday, plunged 7.07% on the day.
  • Australia's economy expanded 3.3% in the September quarter, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. That smashed expectations for a 2.6% rise by economists in a Reuters poll.
  • The U.K. on Wednesday authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use — the first coronavirus shot to be backed by rigorous science.
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both saw a record close overnight on Wall Street.

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday after major indexes on Wall Street surged to record highs overnight.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.13% lower at 26,532.58. Xiaomi shares in Hong Kong, which were suspended earlier on Wednesday, plummeted 7.07% on the day. The Chinese smartphone maker announced Wednesday plans to raise nearly $4 billion by selling new shares and bonds.

Meanwhile, shares of Evergrande Property Services — a unit of Chinese property developer China Evergrande Group — dipped about 0.2% from their issue price as they made their debut on Wednesday. China Evergrande Group shares in Hong Kong dropped 2.53%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day: The Shanghai composite declined fractionally to about 3,449.38 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.224% to approximately 13,961.58.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.58% to close at 2,675.90. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 finished its trading day slightly higher at 26,800.98 while the Topix index advanced 0.32% to close at 1,773.97.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed little changed at 6,590.20.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.24%.

Australia's economy expanded 3.3% quarter-on-quarter in September, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. That smashed expectations for a 2.6% rise by economists in a Reuters poll and followed a 7% quarter-on-quarter contraction in the June quarter.

Following that release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7379, after touching an earlier low of $0.7362.

Wall Street sees new records

The S&P 500 rose 1.1%, to close at 3,662.45 — a new record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite also saw a record close as it jumped 1.3% to 12,355.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 185.28 points end its trading day stateside at 29,823.92.

In coronavirus vaccine developments, the U.K. on Wednesday reportedly became the first country to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for widespread use. The vaccine will now be rolled out in the country next week.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.383 following a decline earlier this week from levels above 91.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.57 per dollar, off levels below 104.1 against the greenback seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.25% to $47.54 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were also slightly higher at $44.57 per barrel.

— CNBC's Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.