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Japan’s Nikkei surges nearly 2%; property shares in Hong Kong decline on tax fears

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday after major indexes on Wall Street rose to record closing highs stateside.

Japanese stocks led gains regionally as the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.77% to close at 29,106.01 while the Topix index gained 1.15% to 2,018.40.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.94%, closing at 3,049.08. South Korea’s gross domestic product grew 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis in the third quarter of 2021 as compared with the previous quarter, data showed Tuesday. That was lower than a median 0.6% growth expected in a Reuters survey.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower as the Shanghai composite slipped 0.34% to 3,597.64 while the Shenzhen component shedding 0.363% to 2,424.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.36% to close at 26,038.27.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose slightly to close at 7,443.40.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.16%.

China property stocks fall on tax fears

Real estate stocks in Hong Kong declined in Tuesday trade amid fears that Beijing could tax property owners.

Shares of debt-ridden developer China Evergrande Group plunged 4.12% while China Vanke fell 4.66% and Country Garden dropped 4.3%. The Hang Seng Properties index slipped 1.61% to 31,148.49.

Those losses came after China’s top executive body was authorized over the weekend to conduct a property tax test for five years in unspecified regions.

EV battery maker stocks mostly surge

Shares of electric vehicle battery makers in Asia-Pacific soared on Tuesday after car rental firm Hertz announced it will be ordering 100,000 vehicles from Tesla by the end of 2022.

In Japan, Panasonic shares jumped 5.64%. South Korea’s LG Chem, owner of electric battery maker LG Energy Solution, gained 1.1%. Over in mainland China, however, shares of Contemporary Amperex Technology fell 2.092% after earlier surging more than 4%.

Electric vehicle stocks in Hong Kong also jumped, with shares of BYD rising 2.84% and Xpeng soaring 8.74%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 sailed to record closing highs on Monday. The Dow rose 64.13 points to 35,741.15 while the S&P 500 gained 0.47% to 4,566.48. The Nasdaq Composite also advanced 0.9% to 15,226.71.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.936 after a recent jump from below 93.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.01 per dollar, weaker than levels around 113.7 seen earlier against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.7496, against an earlier low of $0.7482.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.23% to $85.79 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 0.3% to $83.51 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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