(Two sessions) Hang Seng plumbs new depths on national security law fears

Business | 22 May 2020 4:07 pm

Hong Kong blue chips sank to new lows today after draft laws for national security in Hong Kong were submitted for deliberation by the national legislature in Beijing, fanning fears of renewed protests over freedoms and autonomy.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed at 22,930.14, plunging by 1,349.89 points, or 5.56 percent. It recorded a 3.6 percent, or 867 points, drop for the week.

At midday the HSI slumped by 1,119.92 points, or  4.16 percent at 23,160.11, after sinking by  523.12 points at the open.

Shares of local developers bore the heaviest brunt, with Sino Land (0083) falling 10.3 percent to HK$8.97, the biggest percentage loser among blud chips. The Link Real Estate Investment Trust (0823) and New World Development (0017) both lost around 10 percent, while Wharf Real Estate Investment Company (1997) slid 9.35 percent to HK$28.60.

Banks' shares extended a drop in the morning. HSBC (0005) slumped by 6.88 percent to HK$35.85, the lowest since the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. Hang Seng Bank (0011) dropped by 7 percent to HK$124.

Index heavyweight Tencent (0700) lost 4.85 percent closing at HK$412.40, while Alibaba (9988) ended nearly 4 percent lower at HK$198.20.

Shares sank in Taiwan as well. The main index closed down by 197.16 points, or 1.79 percent, at 10,811.15 on turnover of NT$177.18 billion (US$5.91 billion).

In Tokyo,  the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 90.20 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 20,462.11. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, fell by 7.43 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,483.78.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 167 points, or 0.7 percent, at 24,209. S&P 500 index futures are down 20.40 points, or 0.7 percent, at 2,916.50, while Nasdaq-100 futures lost 69.50 points to reach 9,286.25 a fall of 0.7 percent.

China's benchmark Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed at 2,813.77, lower by 1.89 percent,  while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped by 2.03 percent at 1,752.42.

Onshore yuan hit an over eight-month low, weakening 418 basis points to 7.1416 per US dollar as tensions between the two countries continue.

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