Asian stock markets rise; Meituan’s Hong Kong stock price soars by more than 7%

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SINGAPORE-Asia-Pacific stock markets were mostly higher on Monday, as Hong Kong stocks led the gains in the region.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.73% in early trading.

Meituan’s share price in Hong Kong soared by more than 7%. The Chinese market regulator said on Friday that it had fined the company about 3.4 billion yuan ($521.71 million) after it found the company was guilty of monopolistic behavior. Nevertheless, this is still far below the 18.23 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine imposed by Alibaba in April.

Other Chinese technology stocks in Hong Kong also rose sharply, with Tencent rising 2.91% and Alibaba rising 6.69%. The Hang Seng Technology Index rose 2.52%.

China’s mainland stock markets also rose, with the Shanghai Composite Index rising 0.22%, while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange constituent stocks rose 0.286%.

Singapore travel stocks soared in early trading on Monday, Singapore Airlines rose 8.77%, while SATS rose 6.24%. After the Singaporean authorities announced over the weekend that they would open more “vaccinated travel routes” to eight other countries, gains were made. The country’s broader Straits Times Index rose about 0.2%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 1.57%, while the Toxi index rose 1.36%.

Elsewhere, the Australian stock market underperformed, with the S&P/ASX 200 index falling 0.54%.

The MSCI Asia Pacific’s broadest index outside of Japan rose 0.55%.

The South Korean market is closed for a holiday on Monday.

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The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday that the number of non-agricultural employment in the United States increased by only 194,000 in September, well below the Dow Jones estimate of 500,000. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, higher than the expected 5.1% and the lowest level since February 2020.

1% increase in oil prices

Oil prices rose in the morning during the Asian trading session, and the international benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose 1.09% to US$83.29 per barrel. US crude oil futures rose 1.44% to US$80.49 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, traded at 94.042 after falling from more than 94.2 recently.

The yen-dollar exchange rate was 112.34, and the exchange rate against the dollar weakened from below 111.6 late last week. The Australian dollar was quoted at US$0.7325 against the US dollar, which was higher than last week’s level of less than US$0.724.

— Jeff Cox of CNBC contributed to this report.

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