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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Evergrande Group shares in Hong Kong surge

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SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday, after data released overnight showed U.S. consumer inflation spiked in October.

Shares of China Evergrande Group listed in Hong Kong surged 5.91%, following a report from Chinese media outlet Cailianshe that several bondholders received coupon payments from the debt-ridden developer.

Other real estate stocks in Hong Kong also rose, with China Vanke gaining 6.99% while Country Garden advanced 6.35%. The Hang Seng Properties index gained 3%.

The stock gains followed reports of property market easing in Shenyang, the capital city of the northeastern province of Liaoning.

Citing a meeting with the local government Wednesday, real estate companies said restrictions on property sales would be removed Thursday, Chinese financial news outlet Cailian Press reported. The report said a representative for the local government denied the news.

Hong Kong’s broader Hang Seng index rose about 1.3% as of its final hour of trading.

Mainland Chinese stocks also jumped on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.15% to about 3,532.79 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.267% to 14,699.74.

Australian stocks declined as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.57% to close at 7,381.90.

Employment in Australia fell unexpectedly by 46,300 in October, seasonally adjusted estimates from the country’s Bureau of Statistics showed. That was far off analyst expectations for a 50,000 rise, according to Reuters. Unemployment also rose climbed to 5.2% higher than the 4.8% expected in a Reuters poll.

“While employment is 2.5% below its pre-Delta levels and the unemployment rate is 0.6 percentage points higher than pre-Covid, we expect the labour market to make a full recovery from the Delta associated losses,” Diana Mousina, senior economist at AMP Capital, wrote in a note. “We expect the labour market to eventually recover in 2022 and be stronger than pre-Delta.”

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.59% to close at 29,277.86 while the Topix index gained 0.32% to 2,014.30. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.18%, closing at 2,924.92.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.1%.

U.S. consumer inflation surge

Data released overnight showed the U.S. consumer price index in October seeing its biggest surge in more than 30 years.

Major indexes on Wall Street fell following the inflation data release, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 240.04 points to 36,079.94 while the S&P 500 shed 0.82% to 4,646.71. The Nasdaq Composite lagged as it dropped 1.66% to around 15,622.71.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury yields climbed following the consumer price data release. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note last stood at 1.5699%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.89 after seeing levels below 94 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.94 per dollar, weaker than levels below 113 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7309, still off levels above $0.74 seen earlier this week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.1% to $82.72 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.17% to $81.48 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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