Asia Stocks Fall for Second Day as Oil Prices Drag Energy Stocks

  • Markets in Hong Kong and China extend their declines
  • Indonesia stock market closed Wednesday for elections

Asian stocks fell as energy companies led declines as oil traded near the lowest close in more than a week. Hong Kong and China equities extended declines as a gauge of small-cap shares dropped to a three-month low.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.5 percent as of 5:14 p.m. Hong Kong time. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index in Hong Kong lost 0.6 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.6 percent. Japan’s Topix was little changed after fluctuating between gains and losses at least a dozen times.

The price of crude oil dropped amid concerns of oversupply as some producers ramp up production. Lower-than-expected results by IBM and Goldman Sach Group Inc. dragged on U.S. stocks. Geopolitical concerns persist as the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program rumbles on and the French presidential election looms, while U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for an early poll on June 8 adds a new element.

“This year, the ‘sell in May’ scenario has been brought forward with so many uncertain factors coming together,” CMC Markets Singapore’s analyst Margaret Yang wrote in an emailed note, adding that geopolitical concerns and corporate earnings pose risks.

Summary

  • Shanghai Composite -0.8%; Hang Seng Index -0.4%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.6%; Taiwan’s Taiex -1.1% 
    • China’s Small Caps Fall to Three-Month Low on Regulation Concern
    • China’s Stock Index Has a New Line It Just Won’t Cross: Chart
  • Topix little changed, Nikkei 225 Index +0.1%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.6%; New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index -0.2%
  • Kospi -0.5%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index -0.4%; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI -0.1%; Philippines Stock Exchange PSEi Index -0.9%, Thailand’s SET Index -0.3%, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Stock Index +0.3%
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