05:41 AM EST, 11/17/2023 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets were choppy on the downside Friday after Chinese e-commerce colossus Alibaba scrapped plans to spin off its cloud business, citing Washington pressure on exports to China of semiconductors used in AI.
Hong Kong lost ground, Shanghai eked out a gain, and Tokyo finished in the green. Other regional exchanges were mixed and muted.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened lower but rose to the close, finishing up 0.5% as traders weighed the unfolding earnings season and modestly cooling interest rates.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 160.79 to 33,585.20, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 179 to 45.
Leading the upside was Panasonic, up 5.5% after disclosing a plan to sell a stake in its automotive equipment unit to a US fund en route to a public offering. Beverage-maker Asahi Group fell back 4%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng opened lower and declined through the day, finishing down 2.1% after the Alibaba disclosure increased concerns regarding Beijing-Washington relations and international commerce.
The broad gauge Hang Seng fell 378.63 to 17,454.19, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 65 to 14. The Hang Seng TECH Index lost 1.7% on the day, while the Mainland Properties Index fell 1.6%.
Alibaba declined 10% to lead the downside in Hong Kong, while internet-services outfit NetEase rose 2.1%
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 3,054.37.
On the other regional exchanges, the South Korean KOSPI fell 0.7%; the Taiwan TWSE inclined 0.2%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.1%; the Singapore Straits Times Index fell 0.3%, and the Thai Set was flat. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was off 0.3%.
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