Sunday, November 1

Asia-Pacific shares mostly down; BTS’ label soars in South Korean market debut

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower in Thursday trade, while shares of K-pop superstars BTS’ label, Big Hit Entertainment, surged on the first day of trading.

Big Hit Entertainment’s IPO in South Korea opened at 270,000 Korean won (approx. $236) per share, according to Refinitiv Eikon. That’s double the stock’s issue price of 135,000 Korean won apiece. Shares later extended gains and were last trading about 120% higher from their issue price.

Other South Korea entertainment firms stocks, however, saw declines: YG Entertainment fell 7.79%, JYP Entertainment slipped 5.98% and SM Entertainment shed 6%.

Reuters reported earlier this month that South Korean retail investors have bid over $50 billion — more than 600 times the value of shares on offer — to get their hands on Big Hit Entertainment shares. That came after Big Hit Entertainment in late September priced its stock at the top end of the range.

In the broader markets, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.46% and the Topix index shed 0.47%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were marginally higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.096% while the Shenzhen component was lower by 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.72%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.58%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.48% lower.

Overnight stateside, stocks fell for a second day as a stalemate in coronavirus stimulus talks dragged on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 165.81 points, or 0.6%, to close at 28,514. The S&P 500 finished its trading day 0.7% lower at 3,488.67 while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.8% to close at11,768.73.

Economic data releases

Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis in September, according to headline estimates released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

China’s consumer price index rose 1.7% in September compared to a year ago, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Economists’ polled by Reuters expected a 1.8% increase. Producer price index fell 2.1% in September compared to a year earlier. That compared against a forecast of a 1.8% decline by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.432 following an earlier decline from levels around 93.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.22 per dollar, having strengthened from levels above 105.3 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7138 following levels above $0.72 seen earlier this week.

Credit: CNBC

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