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Asia stocks rise as investors continue assessing omicron variant risk


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were largely higher in Wednesday trade as investors continue to assess the impact of the omicron Covid variant.

Hong Kong Hang Seng indexGains of over 1% were offset by gains of 0.4%. Mixed results were seen in mainland Chinese stocks, including the Shanghai compositeFractionally lower than the Shenzhen component advancing 0.702%.

Japan is home to the Nikkei 225The Topix index was 0.1% higher than the previous gains. The Topix index was not affected. South Korea KospiReceived 0.1%

And elsewhere, S&P/ASX 200Australia saw a drop of 0.22%.

The MSCI’s largest index of Asia-Pacific shares, outside Japan, traded 0.2% higher.

Asia tech shares rise

In Wednesday trade, technology shares in Asia rose.

Hong Kong shares in Chinese tech giants saw their gains erode but they remained positive. AlibabaIt was 0.7% higher than the previous year TencentGained 0.86% MeituanThe index advanced by 1.75% Hang Seng Tech was 0.98% lower.

Japan: Softbank Group’sThe stock rose 0.87% and South Korea-listed chipsmaker SK Hynix climbed 1.61% while Kakao Games gained 3.17%.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.4% to 15,341.09.

Other major indexes on Wall Street also saw sizable gains as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 560.54 points to 35,492.70 while the S&P 500 gained 1.78% to 4,649.23.

Rodrigo Catril of National Australia Bank, said that Omicron news mostly positive had helped to lift sentiment. “South Africa reported a slump in daily infection rates to the lowest levels in two weeks,” he stated.

Omicron news is encouraging the markets to value a more benign outcome of this new virus wave by lifting sentiment. Catril stated that Omicron has and will have an effect on the global economic system. However, there are now prospects for a shorter-term impact.

Turkish lira watch

The investors were closely monitored Turkish liraThe Wednesday after its recent wild swings after the country’s president announced a planSupport the currency and safeguard local deposits from market movements.

Last week, the lira stood at 12.3853 dollars. This is still a strong currency compared to the previous record low of 18.853 against the greenback.

It U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.508 — above levels below 94 seen late last week.

It Japanese yenFollowing a weakening of the greenback against it at 113.7 levels, prices traded at 114.08 USD. After a decline from below 113.7, the dollar traded at 114.08 dollars. Australian dollarIt was 0.714, up from 0.712 in the previous week.

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The morning Asia trading hour saw oil prices rise, with benchmarks internationally. Brent crude futuresBarrel price up to $74.23 U.S. crude futuresBarrel prices rose by 0.48%, to $71.46

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.