Asian Shares Retreat In Thin Holiday Trading

stockmarkets aug16 20sep21 lt

Asian stocks fell in thin holiday trading on Monday, with markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan closed for holidays.

Trading in Japan will resume on Tuesday, while Taiwan and China will be back on Wednesday and South Korea returns on Thursday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 821.62 points, or 3.3 percent, to settle at 24,099.14. Property developer China Evergrande Group plummeted more than 10 percent ahead of its bond payments deadline later this week.

Agricultural Bank of China lost 4.1 percent after Reuters reported that China's number three lender has made loan loss provisions on its exposure to beleaguered China Evergrande.

Australian markets tumbled as weak commodity prices pulled down miners and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled 155.50 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,248.20, a three-month low. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 165 points, or 2.1 percent, at 7,537.90.

BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto all fell around 4 percent as iron ore prices plunged on reports that China is planning to expand air pollution curbs in Beijing and nearby provinces.

Energy stocks also ended broadly lower as oil extended last week's losses on a stronger dollar. Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Oil Search and Santos gave up 2-3 percent.

AusNet Services soared 19.2 percent after Brookfield Asset Management made a A$9.6bn (US$7bn) takeover offer for the Australian energy infrastructure firm.

New Zealand shares ended lower, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index dropping 55.97 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,178.58 even as coronavirus curbs eased slightly in the largest city of Auckland.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as COVID-19 uncertainties, disappointing consumer sentiment data and the increasing likelihood of a corporate tax hike dented sentiment.

The Dow dropped half a percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 both shed around 0.9 percent.

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