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Hong Kong jumps 2% as Meituan shares surge; Singapore travel stocks soar

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Monday trade as stocks in Hong Kong led gains regionally.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 2.23% by Monday afternoon.

Shares of Meituan in Hong Kong surged 9.22%. China’s market regulator on Friday said it had fined the company about 3.4 billion Chinese yuan ($527.71 million) after finding it guilty of monopolistic practices. Still, that was far smaller than the 18.23 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine that Alibaba had been slapped with back in April.

Other Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong also saw sizable gains, with Tencent rising 2.99% while Alibaba surged 9.39%. The Hang Seng Tech index jumped 3.67%.

Mainland Chinese stocks advanced, with the Shanghai composite up 0.38% while the Shenzhen component sat fractionally higher.

Aviation-related stocks in Singapore surged in Monday trade, with Singapore Airlines soaring 6.63% while SATS gained 3.6%. The gains came after Singapore authorities announced over the weekend that more “vaccinated travel lanes” are set to open with more countries. The broader Straits Times index in the country rose around 0.1%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.6% while the Topix index jumped 1.57%.

Elsewhere, shares in Australia lagged, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.38%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.71%.

Markets in South Korea are closed on Monday for a holiday.

More Evergrande bond payments due

Debt-ridden developer China Evergrande Group faced more bond coupon payments on Monday, with the firm already missing two interest payment deadlines last month.

Trading in its shares has been suspended along with those of Evergrande Property Services since Oct. 4, pending an as yet announced deal announcement.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by just 194,000 in September, sharply lower than the Dow Jones estimate of 500,000, the Labor Department reported Friday. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined to 4.8%, above expectations for 5.1% and the lowest since February 2020.

Oil jumps more than 1%

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.44% to $83.58 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.88% to $80.84 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.139 after a recent fall from above 94.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.62 per dollar, having weakened late last week from below 111.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7317, above levels below $0.724 seen last week.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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