Evergrande electric car unit shares plunge more than 10%

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were largely higher in Wednesday trade as investors watch for developments surrounding the war in Ukraine.

Mainland Chinese stocks led gains among the region’s major markets, with the Shanghai composite climbing 1.29% and the Shenzhen component rising 2.09%.

Hong Kong-listed shares of embattled developer Evergrande’s electric vehicle unit dropped 8.52% after they resumed trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Hong-Kong listed shares of China Evergrande Group will “remain suspended until further notice,” according to a Tuesday announcement by the firm.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.15% as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent gained 1.33%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.37%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.59%.

Japanese stocks lagged the broader region as the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.4%, with shares of telecommunications firm KDDI falling more than 4%. The Topix index shed 1.74%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.22%.

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US Treasury yields also continued to be monitored by investors on Wednesday, with markets now watching the spread between the 2-year and 10-year rates for a potential inversion — after the 5-year and 30-year rates inverted for the first time since 2006.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note last sat at 2.3578% while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was at 2.4797%. The 5-year Treasury note’s yield was at 2.4566% while the 2-year Treasury note’s yield sat at 2.3405%. Yields move inversely to prices.

An inversion of the yield curve has happened previously ahead of recessions, with the purchase of more long-dated Treasurys seen as a sign of investor concern over the economy’s health.

Still, UBS Global Wealth Management’s Kelvin Tay said the 10-year Treasury yield has been “distorted” due to the size of the US Federal Reserve’s massive balance sheet of nearly $9 trillion.

“If not for the fact that the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is at $9 trillion … 10-year Treasury yields are probably not going to be at 2.4%, it’s probably going to be a lot higher and closer to the 3% point,” Tay , regional chief investment officer at the firm, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday.

Investors were also watching Russia-Ukraine developments, as the Russian military began moving some of its troops in Ukraine away from areas around Kyiv to positions elsewhere in Ukraine, though Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby warned the troop movements do not amount to a retreat.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.124 after a recent drop from above 98.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 121.69 per dollar, stronger than levels above 124 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7527, still higher than levels below $0.74 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher during Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.81% to $111.12 per barrel. US crude futures gained 0.66% to $104.93 per barrel.

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