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Asia shares up as Chinese markets reopen after holidays

written by Bella Palmer

The Shanghai Composite index added 1.4% to 2,906.39, Nikkei 225 dropped less than 0.1% to 38,470.38, S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1% to 7,665.10, and the Kospi rose 1.2%, to 2,680.26

Shares were mostly higher in Asia after Chinese stock markets reopened on Monday from a long Lunar New Year holiday.

U.S. futures gained slightly while oil prices dropped. Markets will be closed Monday in the US for President's Day.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8% to 16,212.05 on heavy selling of technology and property shares despite a string of announcements by Chinese state banks of plans for billions of dollars' worth of loans for property projects.

Major developer Country Garden declined 4.2% and Sino-Ocean Group Holding slumped 5.2%. China Vanke shed 3.8%.

The Shanghai Composite index added 1.4% to 2,906.39.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 dropped less than 0.1% to 38,470.38.

Major video games maker Nintendo's shares dipped 5.8% after unconfirmed reports that the successor to the Switch console would not be delivered within this year.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1% to 7,665.10 and the Kospi in Seoul rose 1.2%, to 2,680.26. Bangkok's SET gained 0.2% and the Sensex in India was 0.5% higher.

Friday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5% from its all-time high set a day earlier. It ended at 5,005.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.4% to 38,627.99 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.8% to 15,775.65.

A report in the morning on inflation at the wholesale level gave the latest reminder that the fight against rising prices still isn’t over. Prices rose more in January than economists anticipated, and the numbers followed a similar report from earlier in the week that showed cost of living for U.S. consumers jumped by more than forecast.

The data kept the door closed on hopes that the Federal Reserve could start trimming interest rates in March, as traders had been expecting. 


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