Brexit woes drag stocks lower

Business | Reuters and Tereza Cai 14 Mar 2019

China and Hong Kong stocks fell as hit by British government failing to seek support for Brexit and Jeffrey Gundlach's warning of a bear US market.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.8 percent, to 3,724.19 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.1 percent at 3,026.95 points.

The ChiNextP start-up index lost 4.5 percent for the day, its worst in five months.

Risk appetites had soured after British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May's European Union divorce deal, forcing the parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.

Gundlach, the founder and chief executive officer of Doubleline Capital had earlier said that the US stock market "was and still is in a bear market."

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index opened slightly higher than yesterday but was dragged down by mainland stock market and closed 113 points lower at 28,807. It was the first time in four weeks that Hong Kong's stock trading turnover was less than HK$100 billion.

Heavyweight Tencent (0700) fell 0.72 percent to HK$358.40, while AIA (1299) rose 0.7 percent to HK$78.70.

Pharmaceutical stocks fell with Sino Biopharmaceutical (1177) dropping 3.82 percent to HK$6.79.

The biggest loser among blue-chips was Hengan International (1044), which plunged 4.53 percent to HK$63.20, while Sunny Optical Technology (2382) was largest gainer, rising 1.89 percent to HK$94.55.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 21.4 percent.

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