Asian shares mostly higher as focus shifts to virus recovery

Asian shares mostly higher as focus shifts to virus recovery


Shares advanced Wednesday in Asia after a worldwide rally spurred by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will help the global economy return to normal.

Benchmarks advanced in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney but fell in Shanghai after new Chinese regulations focused on technology companies prompted selling in that sector.

The proposed regulations issued Monday for public comment give guidelines on how China’s 2008 anti-monopoly law will be applied to internet companies. The announcement gave no indication operators are accused of wrongdoing but cited areas where regulators might look for problems including sharing of information and alliances or pricing services below cost to keep out new competitors.

E-commerce giant Alibaba's shares plunged 8.4% even as the company was in the midst of its annual Singles Day sales festival. Tencent, owner of the popular WeChat social media platform, sank 5.1% and online retailer tumbled 7.6%.

The Shanghai Composite index declined 0.3% to 3,349.17.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rebounded from early losses, adding 0.3% to 26,375.48.

Other regional markets also were mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 1.8% to 25,349.60 and the S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.7% to 6,449.70. South Korea's Kospi rose 1.3% to 2,485.03. India's Sensez fell 0.2% and shares in Taiwan were higher.

On Wall Street, stocks downshifted on Tuesday after a powerful worldwide rally the day before. It was the second straight day that rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine pushed investors to reorder which stocks they see winning and losing.

Treasury yields and oil held onto their big gains from a day earlier or added some more amid strengthened confidence in the economy.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 3,545.53, after erasing most of an early loss. The Dow Jones...

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