Nikkei loses early gains; Hong Kong's Tencent falls into correction territory
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Asia-Pacific stocks largely returned to positive territory by midday, with Chinese equities recovering from much of their early declines.
After opening slightly lower, Shenzhen stocks -- where smaller companies are generally listed, as opposed to more industrial-focused and state-owned firms in Shanghai -- rebounded.
The Shenzhen Composite ended morning trading up 0.6% and the ChiNext climbed 1.7%. In comparison, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.4% after logging its worst month of the year in November.
As for the Shenzhen market, "it's quite reasonable for it to move higher given the recent pullback," said Dickie Wong, executive director of research at Kingston Securities.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng continued to be under pressure, with Tencent (0700.HK) a primary cause. Ahead of the index's rebalancing at day's end, the Chinese internet giant fell another 2%, putting it into correction territory with an 11% decline from last week's latest record high. The Hang Seng was down 0.1%.
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Elsewhere, the Nikkei was up 0.1% in early-afternoon trading as broader market sentiment cooled in Asia following news that the Senate won't vote on the Republicans' tax-reform proposal until at least Friday. That briefly hurt the dollar and erased initial stock gains in Japan.
The Nikkei Stock Average had increased by as much as 1.3% early on, helped by the yen's overnight weakness. But the currency's reversal -- the dollar fell to as low as Yen112.33 from Yen112.70 earlier -- sent the Japanese stock index into negative territory for a time. The greenback was recently around Yen112.50.
The dollar-yen's drop also came as the pair neared resistance around Yen112.79, said United Overseas Bank analyst Peter Chia.
Michael McCarthy, CMC Markets' chief market strategist in Australia, said October economic data out of Japan early Friday was slightly better than some had thought. That could have some investors worrying about a change in accommodative policies by the Bank of Japan.
It has been a tough week for tech stocks globally. That's especially the case for Samsung (005930.SE) , which is down 8.2% despite slight gains today, on pace for its worst week in 5 1/2 years. Korea's Kospi was also up slightly while Taiwan's tech-heavy Taiex was up 0.3% after early weakness Friday.
Ahead of China's stock-market open, Asian equities started well, thanks to a run to fresh record highs in the U.S. amid tax-reform optimism.
As the Dow industrials capped its eighth-straight month higher Thursday, the longest winning streak in 22 years, "equities in the U.S. are like a runaway freight train," said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign-exchange sales at ASB Bank in New Zealand.
But he added the overnight gain might be viewed skeptically as some of it could be attributed to end-of-month positioning.
Oil prices added to early gains in Asia by midday as investors continued to react to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia agreeing to extend production curbs. The decision had been expected by the market. U.S. and Brent futures were both up nearly 0.5%.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 30, 2017 23:39 ET (04:39 GMT)