By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up Thursday morning, as investors continue to weigh economic re-opening against inflation worries.
China’s inched down 0.01% by 11:34 PM ET (3:34 AM GMT). The was up 0.27%, even as investors digested a reported Chinese proposal to form a joint venture with some of the country’s biggest e-commerce and payments platforms to oversee the latter’s lucrative consumer data.
The proposal, led by the People’s Bank of China, is still in early stages but is an indication that regulators are ramping up efforts to tighten control over the internet sector.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also , widely expected to target Chinese firms particularly, to kick non-U.S. companies off the country’s stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards and require them to disclose any government affiliations.
All this prompted a selloff of Chinese tech stocks.
Hong Kong’s was down 0.22%. The city suspended usage of the BioNTech SE/Pfizer Inc.” until further notice” on Wednesday, as reported manufacturing defects are investigated.
Japan’s gained 0.71% and South Korea’s was up 0.50%. In Australia, the edged up 0.12%.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell both tempered their positive assessment of the economic recovery with warnings that the road towards recovery remains long as in their second day of testimony before Congress.
Investors continue to be wary of inflation risks, even as they place bets on which sectors of the stock market are best placed to benefit from faster growth.
“Rising interest rates, the uncertainty of tax policy, concern over inflation all remain top of mind for investors. However, none of these themes speak to the rising appetite for risk… we are seeing last year’s big gains underperform the broader market,” Peter Kenny of Kenny’s Commentary LLC and Strategic Board Solutions LLC, told Reuters.
Wednesday’s auction of five-year Treasury notes saw decent demand and kept U.S. yields steady ahead of a seven-year debt auction later in the day.
On the COVID-19 front, AstraZeneca PLC (LON:) said its COVID-19 vaccine developed with the University of Oxford was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic illness. The figure, from a fresh analysis of a major U.S. trial, was slightly lower than the level announced earlier in the week that was criticized for being outdated.
Meanwhile, the Ever Given continues to block the Suez Canal, the world’s most important waterway, disrupting shipping and causing oil prices to fall. Efforts to dislodge the container vessel via tugs and diggers have so far been unsuccessful but are continuing.
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