The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 2.3% to a five-month high, driven by speculation about a further easing the city's anti-COVID restrictions and expectations that the Chinese government will roll out supportive policies for the country's struggling real estate market.
However, China's Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes fell by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively, due to uncertainty over the country's COVID-19 situation and President Xi Jinping's warning of challenges this year country looks to further scale back its anti-COVID measures.
Impact of U.S. Economic Data on Asian Markets
Investors in Asian markets turned cautious about releasing key U.S. economic data this week, including the minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting and business activity and nonfarm payrolls data. Markets will be watching to see if more Federal Reserve policymakers support a slower pace of rate hikes amid signs that inflation has peaked. Rising U.S. interest rates have weighed Asian stocks in the past, as higher bond yields decrease the appeal of high-risk assets.
Other Asian Stock Market Results
Other Asian markets also saw varied results on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.4% following data showing the country's manufacturing sector shrank for a second consecutive month in December. India's Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex 30 indexes both fell 0.5%. Among Southeast Asian markets, Indonesian stocks saw the biggest decline, with a 0.2% drop, while Philippine shares rose as much as 2.1%, and Malaysian stocks increased by 1.7%.