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Major Asia-Pac equity indices are mixed at typing, with the Nikkei 225 and ASX200 advancing despite a negative lead from Wall St. On the other hand, the CSI300 and Hang Seng underperformed as worry surrounding measures to control an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has surged, mixing with notably weak sentiment in China-based technology names.

  • The Hang Seng is 3.4% worse off at writing, plunging below 20,000 for the first time since Jun ’16. Virtually all sub-indices within the Hang Seng are in the red at writing, led by losses in the Hang Seng Properties Index, reflecting elevated worry re: the city’s pandemic management measures (Q1 new home sales and prices in Hong Kong have cratered as viewing activity and property launches have been effectively put on hold). China-based tech struggled as well, with the Hang Seng Tech dealing 6.6% softer (to hit a fresh all-time low) amidst heavy losses in large-cap names such as Alibaba (-6.9%) and Baidu Inc (-14.5%).
  • The CSI300 sits 1.6% lower at typing, as the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen have been subjected to COVID-related social restrictions. The richly valued consumer staples and consumer discretionary sub-indices lead broader losses in the CSI300, with ~230 out of 300 constituents recording losses at writing. Discussion over the pandemic-induced drag on economic growth has also done the rounds in Asia, with participants eyeing a decline in Chinese demand for some steel and iron products.
  • Specifically on the pandemic situation in China, the country is facing its worst outbreak of COVID-19 since 2020 after reporting over 3,400 cases on Sunday.
  • U.S. e-mini equity index futures are a touch below best levels earlier in the session, dealing 0.5% to 0.7% firmer heading into European hours.

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