Asian markets mix as Genting Hong Kong shares hit 50%


    • KB Home shares rise 13% after strong fourth-quarter earnings

    • Asian markets close mixed, Nikkei and Kospi down

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

    • In Europe, stocks are trading largely flat as investors react to hot US inflation data.

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

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

Elsewhere, KB Home, listed on the NYSE, the stock (NYSE:KBH) jumped double digits after reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings. Shares of the Los Angeles-based homebuilder jumped 13.7% in early trading as sentiment was supported by expectations of strong demand in the housing sector.

Genting Hong Kong plunges its shares

Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday, with the Japanese Nikkei, China’s Shanghai Composite and Korea’s Kospi down 0.35% to 1.2%. Australia’s ASX 200 and Hong Kong’s HSI indices closed up 0.48% and 0.11%.

Shares of major cruise line Genting Hong Kong plunged more than 50% on Thursday as the company confirmed the possibility of defaulting on its financial obligations.

The listing of the company’s shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange had been suspended since Friday, January 7 and did not resume until Thursday, January 13. But the struggling trader saw its shares fall 50% at the close, falling to lows of 0.30 HKD after opening at 0.60%.

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

The luxury cruise line’s debt crisis has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, with $3.4 billion owed to creditors yet to be honoured. The company said it could default up to $2.78 billion.

European stocks flat

European markets were largely muted in Thursday afternoon trading, a day after US inflation data showed the CPI rose 7% year-on-year to its highest pace since 1982.

The Stoxx 600 index was largely flat around 0.06%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1%. The French CAC experienced the biggest drop of the day, with the Parisian index down 0.6%. The German DAX rose 0.08% while the Italian FTSE MIB edged up 0.3%.

The slowdown in stock indexes comes as investors digest inflation data and assess Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks regarding interest rate hikes in 2022.

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

Countryside Properties was down 25% to lead the pack of losers on the FTSE 250, with the homebuilder recently reporting a 55% drop in operating profit for the quarter ending December 31, 2021.

Forex

The Dollar Index remained below 95.00 as major peers looked to take advantage.

The euro rose 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, rose 0.33% against the dollar to 0.875.

The Australian dollar also rose against the greenback, changing hands up 0.27% to 0.731 as markets watch the US central bank’s monetary tightening cycle.

Elsewhere, WTI oil edged up to $82.67 a barrel, down from Wednesday’s highs of $84.68.

Gold prices were hovering around $1,823.62 an ounce, after rising to $1,828 an ounce on Wednesday.

Bitcoin was trading around $43,875 as the crypto considered a break towards the next resistance zone at $44,000

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