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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index leads losses in Asia as Chinese real estate shares fall

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as shares in Hong Kong led losses among the region’s major markets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.41% to finish the trading day at 24,870.51. Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai composite down 1% to 3,491.57 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.637% to 14,462.62.

Shares of Chinese property developers in Hong Kong fell. China Evergrande Group slipped 2.54% while China Vanke dropped 1.39% and Sunac China Holdings plunged 6.78%. The Hang Seng Properties index dipped 0.5% to 29,881.42.

Trading in Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese property developer Kaisa Group and several of its units was suspended on Friday, according to exchange notices.

Kaisa Group said Thursday its finance unit missed a payment on a wealth management product, according to Reuters. Kaisa is the second-largest issuer of U.S. dollar-denominated offshore high-yield bonds among Chinese developers, according to Natixis. Evergrande ranks first.

It comes as investors continue to watch for developments in China’s property sector following the fallout from heavily indebted Evergrande. A few other Chinese real estate firms had also been under the spotlight for going into default, or missing payments on their debt.

Mixed Asia-Pacific markets

Elsewhere, Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed as South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.47% to close at 2,969.27. Shares in Japan also declined on the day as the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.61% to 29,611.57 and the Topix index shed 0.69% to 2,041.42.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.39% to close at 7,456.90 while Taiwan’s Taiex jumped 1.28% to finish the trading day at 17,296.90.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.23%.

Wall Street record highs

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 climbed 0.42% to 4,680.06, another record closing high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also rose 0.81% to an all-time closing high of 15,940.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, dipping 33.35 points to 36,124.23.

The gains on Wall Street came following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday that it will begin to slow its bond-buying program later this month.

Oil prices jump

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.03% to $81.37 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.6% to $80.07 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.347 after a recent climb from below 94.0.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.78 per dollar, stronger than levels above 114 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7387, struggling to recover after a plunge from above $0.75 earlier in the trading week.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

Correction: This article has been updated to accurately reflect the fallout from indebted Chinese developer Evergrande. An earlier version of the story misrepresented it.

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