Stock markets across Asia slip, led by Hong Kong
Asian stock markets closed mostly in negative territory Monday following declines on Wall Street on Friday.
Japanâs Nikkei NIK, -0.74% finished the session off 0.7%, as the yen was barely higher versus other currencies. Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisaiâs shares 4523, -5.33% continued to take a beating, fell 5.3% as it extended a decline after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last week that more testing was needed for a closely watched Alzheimerâs drug. Its shares are still up about 24% for the month.
The end of Australiaâs housing boom and New Zealandâs migration boom means that economic growth in both countries will probably fall short of expectations over the next couple of years, Capital Economics said. Australia may struggle to grow by much more than 2.5% a year, while GDP growth in New Zealand will probably weaken from close to 3.0% last year to about 2.0% next year. Australiaâs S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.35% was down 0.4% following Fridayâs 10Â½-year closing high, while New Zealandâs benchmark NZ50GR, -0.83% declined by 0.8%.
In China, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.16% notched its fourth straight decline, down 0.2%, while the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -1.39% sank by 1.4%. Meanwhile, troubled vaccine maker Changsheng 002680, -5.00% logged a 10th-straight drop, off 5%, while peer Kangtai 300601, +0.86% bounced 0.9% after previously hitting a three-month low.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng HSI, -0.25% finished down by 0.3%, as a 1.6% decline in shares of Tencent 0700, -1.55% weighed, ahead of the firmâs second-quarter earnings report in August. Orient Overseas 0316, +0.06% trading was halted to start the week as the companyâs takeover process moves on. The US$6.3 billion deal with Chinese rival Cosco Shipping 600428, +1.37% won acceptance from Orient shareholders. In order to keep the companyâs stock listing, Cosco is selling a 15% stake. Meanwhile, Bocom lowered Orientâs earnings forecast, and is now predicting a 25% drop in 2018 EPS. âThe unsettled US-China trade feud remains an overarching concernâ for the company, the bank said. Orient plans to resume tradin g on or around Aug. 17.
Koreaâs Kospi SEU, -0.06% pared early losses to end less than 0.1% lower, despite losses by Samsung 005930, -0.85% and SK Hynix 000660, -0.23%
Indexes in Singapore STI, -0.54% off 0.5% and Taiwan Y9999, -0.38% declined by 0.4%, while Malaysiaâs exchange FBMKLCI, +0.06% pivoted higher, to end slightly in the green, up less than 0.1%.
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