Hang Seng craters amid economic gloom

Business | 4 May 2020 4:05 pm

Hong Kong blue chips sank to new lows today in the wake of a record economic contraction in the first quarter and the threat of further tariffs on China by the Trump administration.

The benchmark Heng Seng Index plunged by 1,029.79 points, or 4.18 percent at 23,613.80. The index sank to a six-week low.

Pan Asian insurer, AIA Group (1299) skidded by 5.63 percent at HK$67.90. Tencent (0700) shed 4.08 percent at HK$400.00.

At midday, the HSI was down by 947.41 points, or 3.84 percent at 23,696.18.

In April, the HSI rebounded by more than 4 percent, marking the  first monthly gain so far this year.

In the region, stocks retreated and US stock futures are down. S&P 500 futures fell by 1.8 percent at one point. Financial markets in Japan are closed  for a public holiday. Shanghai and Shenzhen are also shut until tomorrow.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 index closed up by 1.4 percent at 5,319 points, while the All Ordinaries index won 1.2 percent, or 64 points, to 5,389.

South Korean stocks snapped a three-day rally to drop by more than 2 percent today. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 52.19 points, or 2.68 percent, to close at 1,895.37. Trading volume was high at 1.1 billion shares worth 10.1 trillion won (US$8.2 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 549 to 312.

Taiwan shares closed down by 271.66 points, or 2.47 percent, at 10,720.48 on turnover of NT$189.623 billion (US$6.36 billion).


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