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Asia stocks mixed on the first day of trading in 2022; Evergrande shares halted

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia were mixed on Monday as trading in 2022 kicked off, with some major markets in the region closed.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed earlier gains closed 0.53% lower at 23,274.75.

Trading in the shares and structured products of debt-ridden Chinese developer China Evergrande Group was halted in Hong Kong on Monday, according to an exchange notice. No immediate reason was given for the halt.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Evergrande-related firms were mixed. China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group soared 10.8% while Evergrande Property Services slipped by 0.76%.

Other property stocks in Hong Kong mostly declined, and shares of Country Garden Holdings fell 2.6% while Sunac plunged 9.51%. The broader Hang Seng Properties index fell more than 1%.

Meanwhile, shares of Chinese artificial intelligence firm Sensetime soared 40.91% on Monday, after seeing a strong debut in Hong Kong last week.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.37% to close at 2,988.77 while the Taiex in Taiwan advanced 0.28% on the day to 18,270.51.

In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times index in Singapore climbed about 0.4%, as of about 4:30 p.m. local time.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose marginally by 0.08%.

Markets in Australia, mainland China and Japan were closed on Monday for a holiday.

Oil jumps more than 1%

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.35% to $78.83 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.28% to $76.16 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.898 after recently falling from levels above 95.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.28 per dollar, weaker than levels below 114.6 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7258, still stronger than levels seen in the previous trading week.

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