Asia-Pacific shares mixed as investors watch tech stocks following Wall Street sell-off

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday trade as tech stocks in the region took a hit following a sell-off in the sector overnight on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.87% while the Topix index gained 1.13%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.11%.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined, with the Shanghai composite sitting below the flatline while the Shenzhen component shed 0.103%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia traded slightly higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.19%.

Tech stocks drop

Shares of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi plunged 4.4% by Thursday afternoon in Hong Kong. The losses came despite the company reporting a 36.7% rise in its fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday. Adjusted net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 came in at about 3.2 billion yuan (about $490 million). That was above analysts’ expectations of 2.9 billion yuan, according to Reuters.

Other Chinese tech stocks also declined. Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese search giant Baidu plunged 8.85%, just days after a muted debut in the city. Tencent dropped 2.25% while Alibaba fell 4.17%.

The pressure on Chinese tech stocks came as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday the adoption of measures that would remove foreign companies from American stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards. That could have an impact on dual-listed Chinese firms such as Baidu and Alibaba.

Technology stocks elsewhere in the region also declined. In Japan, shares of conglomerate Softbank Group dropped 2.73%. South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix also dipped 1.12%.

The moves came after technology stocks sold off overnight stateside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite falling 2.01% to 12,961.89.

The S&P 500 also declined 0.55% to close at 3,889.14 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 3.09 points lower to finish its trading day at 32,420.06.

Oil prices decline

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.34% to $63.55 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 1.63% to $60.18 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.542 after rising from levels below 92 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.92 per dollar, weaker than levels below 108.6 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7605, as compared to levels above $0.765 seen earlier in the week.

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