Asia tech share rally helps boost global markets

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Global stocks started the week on a strong footing led by gains for technology shares across Asia-Pacific markets.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index climbed 1.9 per cent on Monday while South Korea’s Kospi rose 2 per cent and China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks added 1.4 per cent. Japan’s Topix index was flat.

Technology stocks led the charge in Hong Kong, with shares in internet group Tencent rising by as much as 10 per cent to take the company’s market capitalisation gains for 2021 to $230bn. Tencent-backed livestreaming platform and TikTok rival Kuaishou plans to raise up to $6.3bn in a Hong Kong initial public offering, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Analysts said the IPO, the biggest tech share debut since Uber’s in 2019, encouraged sentiment across the broader market. The Hang Seng Tech index jumped 4.4 per cent.

“We’re expecting Kuaishou will be very hot,” said Dickie Wong, head of research at Hong Kong-based broker Kingston Securities. “That is boosting not only Tencent’s share price but also most internet-related companies.”

The Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech groups have also been sustained this month by inflows from mainland Chinese investors via market link-ups with Shanghai and Shenzhen.

On Monday alone, Chinese investors poured HK$13.5bn (US$1.7bn) into Hong Kong stocks as of mid-afternoon trading, chief among them Tencent. Chipmakers also rallied, with China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp up as much as 8.3 per cent.

In South Korea, stocks were boosted by local media reports that the government was considering payments to individuals and small businesses to soften the impact of coronavirus-related restrictions. Shares in Samsung Electronics rose as much as 3 per cent.

Futures for Wall Street’s tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were up 0.8 per cent during Asian trading, while those for the broader S&P 500 were up 0.4 per cent. Futures for London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent.

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