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May 18, 2016, 5:59 a.m. EDT

China, Hong Kong stocks fall after silence on expected trading link

Suzuki shares tumble

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By Chao Deng


Reuters
A protester against visiting Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of China's National People's Congress, confronts police in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Stocks in China were down sharply Wednesday, with losses spreading across most of Asia, as investors worried about the nation’s tighter grip on its markets, which added to concerns about higher U.S. interest rates.

The Shenzhen Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.17%   finished the day 2.7% lower, falling from the morning, after high-ranking Chinese official Zhang Dejiang failed to mention the launch of a trading link between the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock markets, which traders hope will generate excitement about China equities. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.47%   ended 1.5% lower and stocks in Shanghai /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.04%  fell 1.4%.

Zhang, the Chinese Communist Party’s No. 3 official, instead focused his speech in Hong Kong on China’s “Belt and Road” initiative to develop trade and infrastructure links between China, the rest of Asia and Europe.

Among brokerage stocks listed in Hong Kong, Citic Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/208139708/delayed HK:6030 -0.24% and Haitong Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/207313420/delayed HK:6837 0.00% were down 2.4% and 1.8%, respectively, and Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing /zigman2/quotes/200234512/delayed HK:388 -0.66% , the city’s stock-exchange operator, fell 1.6%.

Across the region, stocks were hit by worries about the potential fallout of higher U.S. interest rates on riskier assets. Upbeat U.S. economic data and comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials helped to heighten investor expectations that interest rates there will rise as early as June.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.74%   fell 0.7% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.57%  was off 0.6%. Both the Thai baht /zigman2/quotes/210561889/realtime/sampled USDTHB +0.1315%  and South Korean won /zigman2/quotes/210561794/realtime/sampled USDKRW -0.3473%   reached two-month lows against the U.S. dollar, while Indonesia’s rupiah /zigman2/quotes/210562008/realtime/sampled USDIDR +0.2454%  was also weaker.

Investor sentiment toward China is turning gloomy for a number of reasons. Several state and local media reports suggested Beijing is tightening its grip on financial markets, ranging from getting tougher on the amount of leverage investment products can take on, to clamping down on speculation surrounding backdoor listings and false buyout announcements among listed firms.

“The ongoing financial markets scrutiny is real,” said Bill Bowler, sales trader at Forsyth Barr Asia.

And, “it’s weighing on stocks at a time when there is also confusion over monetary policy onshore and the political landscape is shifting,” he said.

In Japan, shares /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.23% fluctuated around break-even levels following stronger-than-expected gross domestic product figures, which reduce hopes for more policy measures such as the delay of a planned sales tax increase. Japan’s economy grew 0.4% in the first quarter compared with the previous one, beating expectations for a 0.1% expansion.

Shares of Suzuki Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201794956/delayed JP:7269 +1.33%  plummeted as much as 15% in the afternoon session after the car maker admitted to having used improper mileage data for 16 models it sells in Japan.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 +2.89%  earlier said it manipulated and fabricated fuel-economy data for some cars sold in Japan.

— Ewen Chew and Yoko Kubota contributed to this article.

/zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed
CN : Shenhzen Stock Exchange
2,298.60
+3.93 +0.17%
Volume: 38.05B
March 5, 2021 3:00p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
29,098.29
-138.50 -0.47%
Volume: 4.00M
March 5, 2021 4:09p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,501.99
-1.50 -0.04%
Volume: 35.64B
March 5, 2021 3:01p
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/zigman2/quotes/208139708/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 16.38
-0.04 -0.24%
Volume: 27.46M
March 5, 2021 4:08p
P/E Ratio
12.59
Dividend Yield
3.34%
Market Cap
HK$354.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.62M
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/zigman2/quotes/207313420/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 7.19
0.00 0.00%
Volume: 20.74M
March 5, 2021 4:08p
P/E Ratio
7.88
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
HK$163.14 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$5.07M
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/zigman2/quotes/200234512/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 479.80
-3.20 -0.66%
Volume: 9.56M
March 5, 2021 4:08p
P/E Ratio
52.79
Dividend Yield
1.70%
Market Cap
HK$611.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,710.80
-49.90 -0.74%
Volume: 702,246
March 5, 2021 5:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
3,026.26
-17.23 -0.57%
Volume: 1.19M
March 5, 2021 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561889/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
30.4600
+0.0400 +0.1315%
Volume: 0.0000
March 5, 2021 9:25a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561794/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1,127.6600
-3.9300 -0.3473%
Volume: 0.0000
March 5, 2021 9:25a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210562008/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
14,300.0000
+35.0000 +0.2454%
Volume: 0.0000
March 5, 2021 4:26a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
28,864.32
-65.79 -0.23%
Volume: 0.00
March 5, 2021 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201794956/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 4,713.00
+62.00 +1.33%
Volume: 1.30M
March 5, 2021 3:00p
P/E Ratio
17.57
Dividend Yield
1.57%
Market Cap
¥2300.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.93M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 320.00
+9.00 +2.89%
Volume: 23.13M
March 5, 2021 3:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
¥462.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥70.57M
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