Asian shares were lower on Friday, with stocks in Hong Kong leading losses
Asian shares were lower on Friday as investors continued to watch for developments on U.S.-China trade following a recent escalation in tensions over Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses among major markets regionally as it fell 2.03% to close at 26,346.49, with shares of life insurer AIA dropping 2.24%.
- The Shanghai composite down 0.61% to around 2,871.98.
- Shenzhen composite declining 0.297% to about 1,593.10.
- The Shenzhen component also shed 0.42% to 9,582.16.
- Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.49% to close at 23,293.91 while the Topix index shed 0.51% to end its trading day at 1,699.36.
- South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.45% to close at 2,087.96 as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.42%. The Bank of Korea announced on Friday its decision to keep the benchmark interest rate steady at 1.25%, in line with expectations of economists in a Reuters poll.
- Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.26% to end its trading day at 6,846.00.
- Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 1.15% lower.
- The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.33 after earlier touching a low of 98.305.
- The Australian dollar was at $0.6772 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6761.
- The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency in times of market uncertainty, changed hands at 109.49 against the dollar after seeing an earlier low of 109.59.
- Oil prices declined in the afternoon of Asian trading hours
- Brent crude futures slipping 0.2% to $63.74 per barrel.
- U.S. crude futures were marginally lower at $58.09 per barrel.