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Asia-Pacific stocks rise; Xiaomi surges in Hong Kong after report of electric vehicle partnership

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Friday trade, with shares in mainland China and Japan among the biggest gainers regionally.

By Friday afternoon, the Shanghai composite was up 1.37% while the Shenzhen component jumped 2.257%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.14%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.51% in afternoon trade while the Topix index rose 1.28%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.79%.

Shares in Australia edged higher, as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.54%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 1.06%.

Stocks on the move

Hong Kong-listed shares of Xiaomi and Great Wall Motor soared 6.69% and 11.9%. That came after Reuters reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter, that Xiaomi plans to make electric vehicles using Great Wall Motor’s factory.

Elsewhere, shares of Baidu in Hong Kong plunged 5.74% by Friday afternoon in the city. The firm saw a muted debut in the city earlier this week. Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock also dropped 2.62%.

Major dual-listed Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Alibaba have come under pressure in recent sessions. Fears over potential delistings from U.S. stock exchanges resurfaced after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a law called the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.

Powell comments

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Thursday that fiscal help from Congress and accelerated vaccine distribution has allowed the U.S. to recover faster than expected.

“As we make substantial further progress toward our goals, we’ll gradually roll back the amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities we’ve bought,” Powell told NPR’s “Morning Edition” in a live interview. “We will very gradually, over time and with great transparency, when the economy has all but fully recovered, we will be pulling back the support that we provided during emergency times.”

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 199.42 points to close at 32,619.48 while the S&P 500 ended its trading day 0.52% higher at 3,909.52. The Nasdaq Composite also rose 0.12% to close at 12,977.68.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.766 following its climb from levels below 92 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.25 per dollar, having weakened from levels below 108.6 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.761, still lower than levels around $0.774 seen earlier in the week.

Oil prices edged higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.74% to $62.41 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.96% to $59.12 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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