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22 May 2024

Asian markets follow Wall Street's decline

By Agencies

Asian markets fell on Friday amid persistent worries about slowdowns in the American and global economies after an overnight decline on Wall Street.


In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 317.96 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 23,305.04. Analysts said they expect continued volatility in the near term on concerns over credit tightening and the possibility of a US recession.


“Nobody is willing to buy now as confidence hasn’t improved amid concerns about a US recession,” said Louis Tse, a director at Value Convergence CEF Securities.


Local bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges plunged 4.1 per cent after Goldman Sachs downgraded it to neutral from buy. Li & Fung and Yue Yuen Industrial also fell on worries that slowing US growth will hurt their exports.


Ping An Insurance fell 2.3 per cent. The Chinese firm has plummeted 32 per cent since the start of the year as investors are concerned about its huge fundraising plan and the lack of information regarding the use of the proceeds.


Sentiment also was depressed after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported regional manufacturing for February fell more than predicted. That sent the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.2 per cent to 12,284.


Philippine shares plunged to their lowest level in a month on Friday, dragged down by Wall Street’s overnight losses and lingering political worries at home.


The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 95.82 points, or 3 per cent, to 3,080.24 – its sharpest fall since a 5.5 per cent loss January 22.


In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 187.82 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 13,500.46, dragged down by real estate companies. Bank of Japan Gov Toshihiko Fukui said the country’s economy is slowing on lingering adjustments in the housing sector.


“Moves in the Japanese economy are slowing down for now due to the weakness in housing investment,” he told a Lower House fiscal and financial panel.


Sumitomo Realty & Development fell 4.2 per cent and Mitsui Fudosan shed 2.8 per cent.


Oil stocks were hurt after a pullback in crude oil prices, which closed lower in Thursday’s floor session for the first time since February 12. Nippon Oil slid 1.9 per cent and Showa Shell ended down 0.5 per cent.


On the Chinese mainland, stocks fell sharply, reflecting regional declines and renewed fears that an influx of new shares might overwhelm demand.


The Shanghai Composite Index fell 156.89 points, or 3.5 per cent, to 4,370.28. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 2.9 per cent to 1,382.00.


Shanghai Pudong Development Bank fell 7.5 per cent to 39.98 yuan after it said on Thursday it was studying a plan to raise funds through an additional share sale to supplement its capital base.


The company didn’t say how much it plans to raise, but people familiar with the situation said the bank has proposed to raise up to 40 billion yuan ($5.6 billion; Dh20.55 billion) from the sale.


Shanghai-based companies with property development businesses bucked the trend after a state-run newspaper reported on Friday that plans to build a Disneyland theme park in Shanghai are about to move ahead – a report a Walt Disney Co. spokeswoman denied.


South Korean shares closed lower on Friday on heavy program selling and foreigners’ net selling amid lingering uncertainties surrounding the US economy. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, shed 17.91 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 1,686.45.


In currencies, the dollar was trading at 107.48 yen mid-afternoon on Friday, up from 107.38 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro fell to $1.4806 (Dh5.43) from $1.4815 (Dh5.44). (AP)