By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stock markets fell Monday following Friday’s regional bounce that eased last week’s pain, as investors failed to pick up the baton from U.S. stocks that rebounded late last week.
Defensive stocks came under pressure in Japan. Near session lows in the early going, the Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +2.55% closed down 1.9% to 22,271.30, tumbling 423 points. The financial sector was hit particularly hard, with Mitsubishi UFJ /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 +2.69% falling 2% and Mizuho Financial /zigman2/quotes/204507985/delayed JP:8411 +2.03% down 1.6%. Sharp losses were also felt by Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 +4.39% and electronics giant Sharp /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +0.90% . SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +1.25% tumbled more than 7% over worries about its close investment ties to the Saudi government in the wake of a journalist’s disappearance. That came as the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0759% was near session highs, with the dollar easing to ¥111.73 from about ¥112.19 late Friday in New York.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.57% finished down 1.4%, led by tech declines. Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +3.44% dropped 2% and smartphone-component maker AAC Tech /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +0.68% fell more than 7%.
Selling picked up throughout the day for markets in mainland China, with the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.78% closing down 1.5% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.48% dropped 1.4%.
Tech stocks also weighed in Taiwan’s Taiex , as Taiwan Semiconductor /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 +2.26% declined more than 1.4%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.54% fell 0.8%, with index heavyweight SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +5.40% sinking 2.9%.
Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.46% closed off around 1%, with financials and materials dragging down the market. Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA +0.43% , Australia and New Zealand Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ +2.02% and Westpac Banking /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC +1.66% all fell more than 1%, while mining giant BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +1.94% fell around 1.5%. New Zealand’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.59% closed flat after its worst week in 8½ years.