Asia stocks rise as investors continue assessing omicron variant risk

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Wednesday trade as investors continued to assess the impact of the omicron Covid variant.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.34% as of its final hour of trading, paring earlier gains of more than 1%. Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite slipping slightly to 3,622.62 and the Shenzhen component advancing 0.697% to 14,791.33.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.16% higher at 28,562.21 while the Topix index climbed nearly 0.1% to 1,971.51. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.32%, finishing the trading day at 2,984.48.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia recovered from earlier losses, rising 0.13% on the day to 7,364.80.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.32%.

Singapore travel stocks hit

Tech shares in Asia mostly rise

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Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures traded slightly lower at $73.96 per barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 0.14% to $71.22 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.