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Asia-Pacific stocks jump on omicron optimism

Hang Seng

Hang Seng rose nearly 2%, Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2%, Topix added 2%, S&P/ASX 200 gained nearly 1%, Kospi added 0.48%, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose nearly 1%

Asia-Pacific stocks jumped on Tuesday, rebounding from Monday losses as Wall Street rallied on optimism that the omicron variant risk might not be as bad as feared.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up nearly 2%, as casino and property shares rose. Some tech stocks also recovered from the previous session. Tencent was up 2.68%, and Alibaba soared 10.38% after losing nearly 6% Monday.

Mainland Chinese stocks were subdued however, with the Shanghai composite inching up 0.12%, and the Shenzhen component down 0.48%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2%, while the Topix was up 2%. SoftBank shares bounced back 8.47% after plummeting more than 8% on Monday as it tracked losses of tech giants Alibaba and Didi.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained nearly 1%.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.48%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced nearly 1%.

Meanwhile, China Evergrande shares struggled to recover from Monday’s record lows. While the stock initially rallied in Tuesday trade, shares lost steam and were trading just 0.55% higher.

On Friday, the embattled real estate developer said it cannot guarantee it has sufficient funds for its repayment obligations and moved toward a plan to restructure its offshore debt.

On Monday, it said in a filing with the Hong Kong exchange that it’s setting up a risk management committee, which will play a role in mitigating and eliminating future risks for the firm.

China’s central bank had announced after market hours on Monday that it would cut the reserve requirement ratio, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, for the second time this year. It will release 1.2 trillion yuan ($282 billion) to boost slowing growth amid the pandemic.

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