Asia markets mixed as Genting Hong Kong shares tank 50%

    • KB Home shares rally 13% after strong Q4 earnings

    • Asian markets close mixed, with Nikkei and Kospi lower

    • Genting Hong Kong shares tumble more than 50% as company warns of defaults

    • In Europe, shares trade largely flat as investors react to hot US inflation data.

US stocks have opened higher, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average all adding 0.30% or more during early trades on Thursday.

Lam Research and Biogen Inc are top performers on the Nasdaq composite, while Boeing Co and Visa are lead gainers on the Dow Jones.

Elsewhere, NYSE-listed KB Home (NYSE: KBH) stock has surged double digits after reporting strong Q4 earnings. The shares of the Los Angeles-based homebuilder have jumped 13.7% in early trading, with sentiment buoyed by the expectations of strong demand in the housing sector.

Genting Hong Kong shares nosedive

Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday, with Japan’s Nikkei, China’s Shanghai composite and Korea’s Kospi down by between 0.35% and 1.2%. Australia’s ASX 200 and Hong Kong’s HSI indexes closed 0.48% and 0.11% higher.

The shares of major cruise operator Genting Hong Kong nosedived more than 50% on Thursday as the company confirmed the possibility of defaulting on its financial obligations.

Trading in the company’s shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange had been suspended since Friday, 7 January, and only resumed on Thursday 13 January. But the troubled operator saw its shares nosedive by 50% at the close, dipping to lows of 0.30 HKD after opening at 0.60%. 

Genting is awaiting the outcome of a legal proceeding related to the MV Werften, which involves an $88 million facility.

The debt crisis for the luxury cruise operator has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, with $3.4 billion owed to creditors still to be honoured. The company said it could default up to $2.78 billion.

European shares flat

European markets were largely muted in Thursday afternoon trades, a day after the US inflation data showed CPI increased 7% YoY for its hottest pace since 1982.

The Stoxx 600 index was largely flat around 0.06%, while the UK’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1%. France’s CAC was seeing the biggest dip on the day, with the Paris index down 0.6%. Germany’s DAX was up 0.08% as Italy’s FTSE MIB edged 0.3%.

The slowdown across the stock indexes comes as investors digest the inflation data and weigh remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell regarding interest rates hikes in 2022.

Sage Group Plc and Persimmon shares were among the worst performers on the FTSE 100, shedding 2.2% and 1.9% respectively. Shares of supermarket chain Tesco were also down, losing 1.5% in afternoon trades.

Countryside Properties was down 25% to lead the losing pack on the FTSE 250, with the housebuilding firm recently announcing a 55% decline in its operating profit for the quarter ending 31 December 2021.


The dollar index remained suppressed below 95.00, with major peers seeking to take advantage.

The euro was up 0.17% to $1.148, while the pound gained 2.2% to hover around $1.373.  The Japanese yen, one of the safe-haven currencies, was up 0.33% against the dollar at 0.875. 

The Australian dollar was also up against the greenback, exchanging hands 0.27% higher at 0.731 as markets keep tabs on the US central bank’s monetary tightening cycle.

Elsewhere, WTI oil was slightly up at $82.67 a barrel, down from highs of $84.68 on Wednesday.

Gold prices were hovering around $1,823.62 an ounce, having notched higher on Wednesday to touch $1,828 per ounce.

Bitcoin traded around $43,875 as the crypto eyed a break to the next resistance zone at $44,000

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