March 26, 2023

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China market reopen, Samsung Electronics earnings

SINGAPORE — Chinese stocks rose on the first day of trade after a week-long holiday, tracking other stock markets across Asia-Pacific as markets on Wall Street rallied. Data on Friday also showed that the services activity in China returned to positive levels.

Mainland Chinese stocks pared earlier gains but were still higher by the close. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.67% to close at 3,592.17, while the Shenzhen Component was higher by 0.74% to 14,414.16. The CSI 300 rose around 1.31% to close at 4,929.94.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.27% in the final hour of trade.

“With the market reopening today, investors are likely to focus on issues in the Chinese property market. With property developers struggling [with] high debt levels, the spectre of strong demand for steel and iron ore remains low,” analysts at ANZ Research wrote in a note, referring to Evergrande’s debt woes and signs of stress in the broader property sector.

China’s CSI 300 real estate index was down more than 1% by the afternoon.

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Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.34% to close at 28,048.94, and the Topix jumped 1.15% to 1,961.85. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.87% to 7,320.10.

In South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.11% down to 2,956.30. In its earnings estimates on Friday, Samsung said its operating profit for the quarter that ended in September was likely up 28% from a year ago to 15.8 trillion Korean won ($13.26 billion).

That is set to be Samsung’s best quarterly profit in three years — since the third quarter of 2018 when Samsung posted a profit of more than 17.5 trillion won. The stock initially rose following the release of the earnings estimates, but ended the day 0.14% lower.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

China’s service sector

Activity in China’s services sector grew in September, data from a private survey showed on Friday.

The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.4 from 46.7 in August, recovering from the lowest level seen since the height of the pandemic last year, according to Reuters. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction.

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