Hong Kong, Australia Lead Asian Equities Lower After Holiday

Investors returned from Easter holiday in Hong Kong and Australia to send equities lower, leading declines in the Asia Pacific region.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.5 percent as of 3:55 p.m. Singapore time. The Hang Seng Composite Enterprises Index in Hong Kong fell 1.6 percent to the lowest since Feb. 8, catching up with losses on mainland exchanges. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.9 percent as a continued slump in iron ore weighed on commodity producers. 

Japan’s Topix gained 0.4 percent as the yen weakened on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin comment that the dollar’s strength is “a good thing.” Investors continued to assess the geopolitical risks even without a major international incident. 

“The market is very fragile,” said Nicholas Teo, a trading strategist at KGI Securities in Singapore. “The strategy seems to be that investors are selling when the market is up.”

Summary

  • Shanghai Composite -0.8%; Hang Seng Index -1.4%, Hang Seng Composite Enterprises Index -1.6%; Taiwan’s Taiex +0.3%
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  • Topix +0.4%, Nikkei 225 Index +0.4%
  • Kospi +0.1%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.1%; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI +0.3%; Jakarta Composite Index +0.6%; Stock Exchange of Thailand Index +0.3%; Philippines Stock Exchange PSEi Index +0.01%
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