Declines deepened in Asian stock markets as the day progressed Friday, erasing the week’s gains in Taiwan and Malaysia, while Japan’s Nikkei was barely hanging on to its advance. But the biggest drop was in Hong Kong, where stocks were down more than 2% to extend this week’s losses.
Aside from lingering worries over U.S.-China trade relations, there was no major news to set off the selling in Asia, as overseas indexes paused Thursday following post-midterm election bounces globally. But it may be a fresh sign that last week’s start-of-November bounce which gave a number of Asian indexes their best week in years hasn’t erased market concerns which have been persisting for months.
“Though the mid-term elections are over, worries that the U.S.-China trade war will drag on for the long term are lingering,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
was down 1.1%, sliding from its 2½-week high Thursday. Nikon
tumbled 9%, while robot-maker Fanuc
slid 4% and Nintendo
After rising 6 of the past 7 trading days, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
was down 2.3%. Tech remained weak, with smartphone-component makers AAC
and Sunny Optical
both down some 4%; they’ve respectively slumped 19% and 12% this week, and AAC is trading at fresh 2½-year lows. Meanwhile, internet heavyweight Tencent
was off 4% after overnight weakness in the U.S. for its ADRs. Energy stocks were down similarly as U.S. oil prices entered bear-market territory Thursday.
China’s Shanghai Composite
was down 1.2% — on pace for a fifth-straight drop — while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
was off just 0.3%.
South Korea’s Kospi
was down slightly, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
posted sharp declines.
dipped, led by energy stocks, with Woodside Petroleum
and Oil Search
off about 1.5% each. New Zealand stocks
bucked the regional trend, rising slightly.
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