Hang Seng slumps by midday, regional markets skid on Sino-US trade pact doubts

Business | 4 Dec 2019 12:24 pm

Hong Kong and regional markets extended  losses today after U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the 2020 presidential election, dashing market hopes for a preliminary agreement.

Losses worsened in Hong Kong stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.19 percent, or 313.53 points at 26,077.77 as of midday.

Shares in Alibaba Group (9988) fell by 1.51 percent at HK$189.70.

HSBC Holdings (005) fell by 1.38 percent at HK$57.15. 

Mobile phone components supplier, Sunny Optical (2382) skidded by 3.49 percent at HK$124.60. 

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) fell by 1.59 percent at HK$111.20.

At 9:56 local time, the HSI was down by 1.37 percent. The index opened at 26,071.39. 

In mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped by 0.34 percent, or 9.82 points at 2,874.88C.

On Wall Street overnight, stocks closed broadly lower and bond prices climbed sharply.

Investors turned to safe-haven assets, boosting bond prices and sending gold to a one-month high, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell by 0.4 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average fell by 1.05 percent, or 244.58 points, at 23,135.23 while the broader Topix index lost 0.20 percent, or 3.46 points, at 1,703.27 at the close.

Australia's S&P/ASX200 was down by 1.54 percent at 6,608.60, having shed almost 4 percent since closing on Monday.

In Seoul, stocks extended losses late  morning. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 20.65 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,063.42 as of 11:10 a.m local time. Seoul opened lower, tracking losses on Wall Street. 

The Taiwan Stock Exchange's main index opened down 19.76 points at 11,511.82  on turnover of NT$1.82 billion (US$59.67 million).-Reuters/The Standard

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