Asia-Pacific markets rise; JD shares in Hong Kong plunge 7% after Tencent says it will dilute stake

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday trade, as fears over the omicron Covid variant eased.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce titan JD.com plunged 7.09% while Tencent surged 4.02%. Those moves came after Tencent announced it will distribute majority of its shares in JD.com to its shareholders, effectively diluting its stake in the e-commerce firm from around 17% to approximately 2.3%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed earlier gains, rising 0.16% by the afternoon.

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday trade, as fears over the omicron Covid variant eased.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce titan JD.com plunged 7.09% while Tencent surged 4.02%. Those moves came after Tencent announced it will distribute majority of its shares in JD.com to its shareholders, effectively diluting its stake in the e-commerce firm from around 17% to approximately 2.3%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.13% while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.256%. Investors continued monitoring Covid developments in the country after the major Chinese city of Xi’an entered a lockdown on Thursday as authorities seek to control a flare-up of Covid cases.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan nudged 0.49% higher while the Topix index gained 0.6%. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.23%.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.22%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.53% higher.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 261.19 points to 35,753.89 while the S&P 500 rose 1.02% to 4,696.56. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.18% to 15,521.89.

Those gains on Wall Street came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday granted authorization for Pfizer’s Covid treatment pill, the first oral antiviral drug cleared during the pandemic.