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Asia-Pacific markets rise; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng looks to bounce from bear territory

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Monday morning trade as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index bounced back after falling into a bear market last week.

The Hang Seng index rose 1.32%, with shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent rising nearly 3% while Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing surged more than 5%.

Heavy losses last week left the Hang Seng index more than 20% below its mid-February high as regulatory uncertainty clouded the outlook for Chinese technology companies.

Mainland Chinese stocks also traded higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.37% as the Shenzhen component gained 0.324%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.51% while the Topix index jumped 1.86%.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.15%. Shares of LG Chem, however, plunged more than 8%. On Friday, General Motors said it was expanding its recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs after finding manufacturing defects in certain battery cells produced at LG manufacturing facilities.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.22% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.07% higher.

Other factors that could weigh on investor sentiment include concerns over the potential pullback of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the continued spread of the delta Covid-19 variant.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.398 after its recent climb from below 93.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.84, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7152, having declined last week from above $0.729.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.95% to $65.80 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.87% to $62.68 per barrel.

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