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Asia-Pacific shares mixed; most casino stocks in Hong Kong continue to slide amid regulatory fears

Andre 0 Sep 16

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday morning trade, with casino shares in Hong Kong mostly seeing another day of losses.

Shares of Wynn Macau in Hong Kong dropped 4.06%, Sands China fell 4.39% and Melco International Development shed 4.25%. Meanwhile, Galaxy Entertainment Group gained 1.79%. Those moves follow a Wednesday plunge for casino stocks as Macao kicked off a public gaming consultation.

The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 0.12%. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite climbed 0.49% while the Shenzhen component hovered above the flatline.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped about 0.1% while the Topix index fell 0.15%. South Korea's Kospi edged 0.47% lower.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.69%.

Australia's unemployment rate decreased to 4.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis in August, data released Thursday showed, lower than the 4.9% forecast in a Reuters poll. Still, the Australian Bureau of Statistics attributed the decline to a "large fall in participation during the recent lockdowns" rather than strengthening labor market conditions.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 236.82 points to 34,814.39 while the S&P 500 gained 0.85% to 4,480.70. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.82% to 15,161.53.

Looking ahead, U.S. jobless claims data is set to be released on Thursday, with economists polled by Dow Jones expecting a total of 320,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended Sept. 11.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.466 as it struggles to recover after declining from above 92.8 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.33 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7337, still off levels above $0.735 that were seen earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in Asia's morning trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures shed 0.25% to $75.27 per barrel and U.S. crude futures fell 0.23% to $72.44 per barrel.