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Sept. 7, 2020, 4:58 a.m. EDT

SMIC slumps, SoftBank drops in mixed Asia markets

SMIC shares plunge in Hong Kong after threat of U.S. export restrictions

By Marketwatch

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Boats travel on the Huangpu River in front of the Shanghai skyline..

Asian markets were mixed Monday, following a sharp selloff on Wall Street last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   dipped 0.5% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index (HONG:HK:HSI)   fell 0.4%. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP)   declined 1.9% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106)   dropped 2.2%.

South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   rose 0.7%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999)  , Singapore (SES:SG:STI)   and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX)   were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   rose 0.3%.

Data showed China’s August exports were stronger than expected from the prior year, after another strong increase in July.

Shares of Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (HKG:HK:981)   tumbled in Hong Kong trading after a Wall Street Journal report that the Trump administration is considering placing export restrictions against it, as it has with fellow chip maker Huawei Technologies.

SoftBank Group (TKS:JP:9984)  shares dropped over 7% on Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported the Japanese investment group bought $4 billion worth of options tied to around $50 billion worth of individual tech stocks.

U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Last week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (AMERICAN:COMP)   saw a 3.3% weekly decline, its largest since March, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA)   fell 1.8% and the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX)   lost 2.3%.

“We view the latest selloff as a bout of profit-taking after a strong run,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a note Friday.

“Stocks have had a nervy start to trading Monday after the massive two-day slide for global equities since June left investors on edge,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note Monday. “In the short-term, more so with U.S. markets closed today, it should remain an extremely choppy affair, with bounces likely being sold by design.”

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