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Asian Shares Dip On Fresh Lockdown Worries

asianmarket 021219 22sep20 lt

Asian stocks fell broadly on Tuesday as rising coronavirus cases and delays in fresh U.S. stimulus stoked worries that the quick economic recovery from the pandemic will be hampered.

Speculation about further lockdown measures in Europe and reports that several global banks were involved in money laundering to the tune of $2 trillion between 1999 and 2017 also weighed on markets.

The Japanese market was closed for a holiday. Chinese shares ended lower despite the country's cabinet unveiling steps to spur new forms of consumption, including online shopping and payments, in a bid to support economic recovery.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite fell 1.29 percent to 3,274.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped nearly 1 percent to 23,716.85.

Australian markets hit three-month lows, with heavyweight banks and miners succumbing to heavy selling pressure.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.66 percent to 5,784.10, extending losses for the fourth straight session. The broader All Ordinaries index ended down 0.67 percent at 5,973.50.

Miners BHP and Rio Tinto gave up 1.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively as commodities dropped on concerns over global economic recovery.

Gold miners Evolution Mining, Regis Resources and Newcrest fell 2-3 percent after gold prices ended at near two-month lows overnight. Northern Star Resources slumped 4.6 percent.

Banks ANZ, NAB and Westpac fell over 2 percent as the Reserve Bank warned of a "gradual and uneven" recovery out of the coronavirus recession.

Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Santos declined 2-3 percent after crude oil prices fell over four percent on Monday amid worries about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe.

Tech stocks bucked the weak trend, with WiseTech Global, Afterpay and Appen climbing 2-3 percent.

Seoul stocks fell the most in the region on strong foreign and institutional sell-off amid fears of possible lockdown in Europe and renewed concerns over stalled stimulus talks in the U.S.

The benchmark Kospi slumped 2.38 percent to finish at 2,332.59. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.7 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix shed 3.8 percent and Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, tumbled 3 percent.

New Zealand shares advanced as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern removed all domestic rules for much of the country and investors braced for the RBNZ monetary policy meeting on Wednesday. The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 0.61 percent to 11,609.22.

U.S. stocks tumbled overnight amid stalled stimulus talks, rising U.S.-China tensions and allegations of illegal accounts and funds transfers by several global banks over nearly two decades.

The Dow fell nearly 950 points at one stage before recovering some lost ground to end the session 1.8 percent lower. The S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.1 percent.

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