Hong Kong Stocks End The Week With A Bruising Fall

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2018-03-23 HKT 17:20

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  • A mainland investor reflects the mood that prevailed in Asian markets. Photo: AFP

    A mainland investor reflects the mood that prevailed in Asian markets. Photo: AFP

The Hang Seng Index ended the week with a bruising fall on Friday, 761 points or 2.5 percent down at 30,309 on second-ever highest market turnover of HK$283.4 billion.

The index tumbled had tumbled more than 1,100 points during early trading, briefly slipping below the key 30,000 level, as the Beijing hit back with its list of tariffs after US President's announcement of punitive trade actions.

The sell-off was seen across almost all 50 blue chips on the index. But tech shares were the hardest hit as they were seen as the most likely target of the latest US actions.

AAC Technologies slumped 6.8 percent. Sunny Optical tanked 5.5 percent. Tencent dropped 4.4 percent – the mainland internet giant was sold down after its largest shareholder – South African internet and media firm Naspers – decided overnight to cut its stake in Tencent.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 3.4 percent lower, at 3,152 on turnover of 293.4 billion yuan. It lost 3.58 percent over the week. The Shenzhen Composite Index, fell 4.5 percent, to 1,766 on turnover of 341.9 billion yuan. It lost 5.2 percent in the week.

The news boosted mainland pork producers though Hong Kong-listed WH Group, which owns US giant Smithfield, plunged more than 4.7 percent.

And those losses filtered through to Asia. Tokyo was hammered 4.5 percent to hit a near six-month low, with exporters also hit by a surging yen.

The greenback fell below 105 yen for the first time since Trump was elected president in November 2016, while it was also down against the euro and pound.

Sydney sank two percent. Seoul was 3.2 percent down and Taipei fell 1.7 percent. Singapore dived 2.4 percent, Wellington gave up one percent and Manila dropped 2.3 percent.

Hannah Anderson, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, warned: "The effects are likely to be felt more strongly in the US and increase both consumer and producer prices.

She added: "The equity market will bear the brunt of the market reactions. Most impacted will be the US, Korea, and Taiwan as companies domiciled in these markets make up a significant portion of the global production chain of Chinese exports. (Additional reporting by AFP)