Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors watch tech shares; HSBC earnings beat expectations

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade, as investors monitored technology stocks regionally after their counterparts declined overnight on Wall Street.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed by the afternoon as the Shanghai composite gained 0.34% while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.531%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.48%.

South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.29%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.49% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.37%.

On the earnings front, HSBC said Tuesday its reported profit before tax for 2020 fell 34% from a year ago to $8.8 billion. It also declared an interim dividend of 15 cents per share.

The bank’s profit was above analyst expectations of $8.3 billion for the whole of last year, based on estimates compiled by the London-headquartered bank. Shares of HSBC in Hong Kong were up more than 3% by Tuesday afternoon.

Markets in Japan are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Technology shares on watch

Technology shares in Asia were mixed in Tuesday trade, with Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba down 1.36% by the afternoon. Xiaomi dropped 2.93% and Kuaishou plunged 3.86%. Tencent’s stock, on the other hand, edged 0.56% higher and Meituan gained 0.45%. South Korea’s LG Electronics fell about 4.5% while Samsung Electronics climbed 0.12%.

The moves came after tech shares stateside tumbled overnight — the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.46% to close at 13,533.05, with Big Tech stocks such as Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all falling at least 2%.

The S&P 500 declined 0.8% to end its trading day on Wall Street at 3,876.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the overall trend as it edged 27.37 points higher to close at 31,521.69.

Oil prices rise

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.58% to $66.27 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.39% to $62.56 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.019 following an earlier low of 89.943.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.03 per dollar, stronger than levels above 105.6 against the greenback seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7916, largely holding on to gains following its surge late last week from around $0.777.

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.

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