Asian markets edge up amid big IPOs and vaccine roll-outs

The Hang Seng Index and Straits Times Index both concluded slightly higher on Friday, 05 February 2021.

Hang Seng Index: +0.6%

The Hang Seng Index closed 0.6% higher on Friday (05 February 2021), boosted by the hugely successful debut of Kuaishou Technology.

The Tencent-backed video sharing mobile app saw its stock price triple at the start of trading to HK$338 a share, versus an initial public offering (IPO) price of HK$115.

Shares climbed to a peak of HK$345 on the day, making this the biggest internet IPO since Uber Technologies’ US$8.1 billion shere sale in May 2019.

Across the full week, Hong Kong’s blue-chip benchmark is up nearly 3%, reversing last week’s 1,164 point decline.

The rally was driven partly by investor anticipation around Kuaishou’s share sale, as well as the latest quarterly earnings from Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group.

Alibaba reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) profitability for its cloud-computing business for the first time in its latest report, thanks to ‘the realisation of economies of scale’, it said.

In terms of revenue, cloud computing grew 50% year-over-year to RMB16,115 million (US$2,470 million), primarily driven by robust growth in revenue from customers in the internet and retail industries and the public sector.

Alibaba’s shares rose 4.62% this week.

Straits Times Index: +0.05%

Meanwhile, the STI also closed slightly up on the day, after US markets returned back to their profit-making ways on the back of positive company earnings and economic data.

The day’s top gainers included: Thai Beverage (+3.15%), Mapletree Logistics Trust (+1.03%), and Sembcorp Industries (+0.6%).

Top losers were Mapletree Commercial Trust, which fell 1.42%, and CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, which declined 1.38%.

Across the week, Singapore’s large cap barometer rallied 0.9% as investor confidence surged on the back of new Covid-19 vaccine roll-outs and US stimulus optimism.

The STI peaked at 2,937.313 on Wednesday (03 February), before giving away those gains to settle lower at 2,888.128 the following day.

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