Hong Kong's Hang Seng down around 6% in mixed Asia trade; Japan's yen weakens despite reports of intervention

This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

People wearing face masks walks in front of the Hong Kong skyline on October 17, 2022 in Hong Kong, China.
Vernon Yuen | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Hong Kong stocks and mainland China markets fell sharply Monday while other major Asia-Pacific markets rose.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index spiraled down 6.36% to 15,180.69, its lowest levels since April 2009, with the Hang Seng Tech index down more than 9%.

Tai Hui, JPMorgan Asset Management's APAC chief market strategist, said a combination of factors has been driving the Hong Kong market recently, including higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Investors may also have expected policy measures to be announced during the Communist Party of China's 20th National Congress, which closed over the weekend with President Xi Jinping loyalists tapped to form a core leadership group.

"Since the meeting is mostly about personnel changes, the economic recovery might not come as soon as we have hoped," Tai told CNBC in an email.

Mainland China markets briefly entered positive territory on better-than-expected economic data before falling again. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China was 2.02% lower at 2,977.56, and the Shenzhen Component lost 2.055% to 10,694.61.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1.54% higher at 6,779.40. The Kospi in South Korea gained 1.04% to 2,236.16, and the Kosdaq added 2.08% to 688.50.

Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.31% to 26,974.90 and the Topix was up 0.28% to 1,887.19. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1.94% lower.

Authorities in Japan reportedly intervened in the forex market on Friday, causing the yen to strengthen sharply. But the currency continued to seesaw. On Monday in Asia, the currency briefly strengthened to 145-levels but was last at 149.25 per dollar.

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U.S. stocks soared on Friday following a Wall Street Journal report that some Fed officials are concerned about tightening policy too much. On Friday in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 748.97 points, or 2.47%, to close at 31,082.56. The S&P 500 added 2.37% to 3,752.75. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.31% to 10,859.72.

Singapore, Malaysia and India's markets are closed for a holiday Monday. Later this week, the Bank of Japan will meet, while Singapore and Australia are expected to release inflation data.

Oil prices fall more than 1% on disappointing demand data from China

Oil prices fell around $1 after data from China showed energy demand in September slipped from a year ago.

Brent crude futures were 1.57% lower at $92.03 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures slipped 1.76% to $83.55 per barrel.

In September this year, China's crude oil imports fell 2% compared with a year ago, customs data showed.

— Abigail Ng, Evelyn Cheng

Currency check: Japan's yen back above 149 per dollar

The U.S. dollar strengthened around 1% against the Japanese yen to 149.20 in Asia's afternoon after a wild ride for the currency pair.

Authorities in Japan reportedly intervened in the market on Friday, causing the yen to sharply strengthen before weakening again. On Monday morning in Asia, the yen briefly popped to 145-levels.

"The sharp and sudden drop prompted market speculation the Ministry of Finance (MoF) intervened again on Monday following Friday's intervention," according to a Commonwealth Bank of Australia note.

The yen then weakened throughout the session before crossing the 149 mark again in the afternoon.

"In line with the usual pattern, we expect the intervention‑induced losses in USD/JPY to be unwound within a few weeks," the CBA note said.

— Abigail Ng

Midday update: Asia-Pacific markets are mixed, with Hong Kong down sharply

Hong Kong and mainland China markets were in negative territory after the morning session.

The Hang Seng index fell around 5%, with the Hang Seng Tech index down more than 6%.

Mainland China markets turned positive briefly before going back into negative territory. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China was down 0.89% and the Shenzhen Component shed 0.725%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1.18% lower.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1.48% higher.

South Korea and Japan stocks gave up some gains but were still higher than their last closes. Around noon in Singapore, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.77%, and the Kosdaq added 1.87%. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.49% and the Topix was up 0.41%.

— Abigail Ng

CNBC Pro: Oil could rise or fall — and these energy stocks are winners either way, portfolio manager says

Whether oil prices rise or fall, energy stocks are still worth investing in, according to Foord Asset Management's Brian Arcese.

He names a couple of his favorite energy stocks, including one that he says will generate a "significant amount of cash" if oil prices stay high.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Hong Kong stock movers: Tech drags down the broader index

Chinese tech companies dragged down the broader Hang Seng index in morning trade, with heavyweights such as Tencent and Alibaba dropping around 6% each.

Meituan shed 4.87%, while declined around 6% as well.

The Hang Seng Tech index was 3.49% lower, and the Hang Seng last lost 2.73%.

— Abigail Ng

China says economy expanded 3.9% in the third quarter

China's gross domestic product grew 3.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Analysts polled by Reuters expected 3.4% growth.

The GDP report was due to be released during the Communist Party of China's National Congress, but was delayed along with other data. The congress ended on Saturday.

In the second quarter, GDP increased 0.4% compared with the same period in 2021.

Retail sales missed Reuters' average estimate, coming in at 2.5% for September from a year ago, while industrial output surprised to the upside at 6.3%, compared to the forecast of 4.5%.

— Abigail Ng

CNBC Pro: From copper to cybersecurity, Goldman Sachs picks less obvious stocks to play the clean energy trend

Goldman Sachs has identified four "critical" sectors in the clean energy market, beyond the usual suspects.

Dubbing them "greenablers," Goldman says they are less appreciated by ESG investors but could be "in the framework of investors potentially looking beyond Solar/Wind/Water stocks."

It names buy-rated stocks to play these four sectors.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Early trade: Where Asia-Pacific markets started the day

Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.14% in early trade and the Topix was up 0.82%.

The Kospi in South Korea gained 1.46%, and the Kosdaq added 2.05%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 2% higher in its second hour of trade.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.7% higher.

— Abigail Ng

Big tech earnings reports coming up this week

A slew of big tech names report third quarter earnings this week. Because of the size of many of these companies' market capitalizations, any moves after earnings will likely impact the entire market.

Alphabet and Microsoft report earnings on Tuesday, followed by Meta Platforms on Wednesday. Apple and Amazon will report Friday.

—Carmen Reinicke