Hong Kong shares edged higher by mid-day trading on Friday, with gains among energy and property stocks offsetting weakness in most tech and consumer discretionary sectors. Electric vehicle stocks traded on a mixed note.
Tech Mixed: After pausing for a breather on Thursday, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA shares rose sharply. Intraday, the stock hit its highest level since mid-February, suggesting improving sentiment toward the battered e-commerce giant.
The upside comes despite news of China's cyberspace regulator announcing mandatory security reviews over data export rules for Alibaba and its peers from Sept. 1.
The South China Morning Post, a media company owned by Alibaba, reported that the company's founder Jack Ma was spotted in a university in the Netherlands learning about improving food production.
Alibaba has been on an extended correction since late 2020 amid the Chinese regulatory clampdown and deterioration of macroeconomic conditions in its home country.
Chinese video platform Bilibili BILI, and Baidu, Inc. BIDU also advanced strongly.
On the other hand, most other tech stocks, including JD.com, Inc. JD, Tencent Holdings Limited TCEHY, Xiaomi Corporation XIACF, Lenovo Group Limited LNVGY were in the red.
EVs Trade Mixed: Nio, Inc. NIO rebounded strongly following the previous session's declines. XPeng, Inc. XPEV gained ground, while Li Auto, Inc. LI and Warren Buffett-owned BYD Company Limited BYDDY fell.
Benchmark Trims Early Gains: Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index opened sharply higher, taking cues from the rest of the global averages. The blue-chip average pared back most gains over the morning session and was up merely 0.07% at 21,658.62 at press time, off the intraday high of 21,9161.75.
Overseas Cues: The U.S. averages ended Thursday's session sharply higher, with the broader S&P 500 Index rising for a fourth straight session, on hopes that inflationary pressure will ease amid the Federal Reserve's focused approach. Sentiment in Europe was also positive, led by the German market.
Asian stocks traded in the green on Friday, although caution remains the watchword ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later today. Economists, on average, expect the U.S. to have added 390,000 jobs in June. Investors are also likely to pay close attention to the average hourly earnings to see if there has been a let-up in the inflationary trend.
Crude oil futures continue to push higher, adding to their New York session's gains.
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