Asia Markets: South Korean stocks sink, leading Asian market slide

North Korea’s fifth nuclear test weighed on Asian shares Friday, compounding market disappointment over the European Central Bank’s inaction on stimulus.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index continued to rally, however, after a Chinese regulator said it would allow domestic insurers to invest in Hong Kong-listed stocks through a trading link with Shanghai. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission’s announcement came less than a month after Beijing confirmed it would launch the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program within 2016.

Chinese investors have plowed into the Hong Kong market partly to hedge against the falling yuan. The Hang Seng HSI, +0.75% is up 0.8% for the week and has risen nearly 20.6% in the past six months, making it is the best-performing major benchmark in Asia for that period.

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