Tech Shares Lead Asian Stocks Decline as Didi Suspension Resurfaces China’s Regulatory Concerns
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday as Brent crude futures hovered around $76 while investors watched for developments from a meeting of OPEC and its allies.
Shares of Chinese tech firms in Hong Kong fell on Monday trade as regulatory fears resurfaced. Tencent shares fell 3.57% while Alibaba dropped 2.83% and Meituan slipped 5.59%. The broader Hang Seng TECH index in Hong Kong also declined 2.28% to 7,712.19.
Elsewhere, shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group also plunged 5.39% on Monday.
The losses came after Chinese regulators claimed SoftBank-backed Didi illegally collected users’ personal data and ordered app stores to stop offering Didi’s app. The move came just days after the ride-hailing giant’s market debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
“The app can no longer be downloaded in China, although existing users who had previously downloaded and installed the app on their phones prior to the takedown may continue using it,” Didi said in a Sunday release. The company had earlier announced Friday that it had suspended new user registration in China, Asia’s largest and Didi’s largest market.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed fractionally higher at 7,315. Australia’s retail sales data rose 0.4% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, final retail trade figures released Monday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. That was higher than the May preliminary result of a 0.1% rise.
Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher during trading in Asia as the Shanghai composite rose 0.44% to 3,534.32 while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.327% to 14,718.66. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended the trading day 0.59% lower at 28,143.50.
A private survey on China’s services sector activity in June showed growth slowing sharply in June to a 14-month low. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for June, released Monday, came in at 50.3 — a significant decline from May’s reading of 55.1.
Still, it held above the 50-level in PMI readings indicating growth on a monthly basis.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.64% to close at 28,598.19 while the Topix index shed 0.37% to finish the trading day at 1,948.99. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.35% higher at 3,293.21.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.11%.
Asian Markets Currencies & Oil
Oil prices rose slightly in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, adding to gains from late last week as OPEC and its allies, collectively referred to as OPEC+, failed to reach an agreement on output policy.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were fractionally higher at $76.20 per barrel following a rise last week from below $74.40 per barrel. U.S. crude futures rose about 0.1% to $75.23 per barrel after last week’s gains from below $72.80 per barrel.
The group will meet again on Monday. All the members except the United Arab Emirates agreed to an easing of cuts and their extension to the end of next year, according to Reuters citing an OPEC+ source.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.217 after a recent decline from above 92.4. The Japanese yen traded at 110.84 per dollar, stronger than levels above 111.2 against the greenback seen late last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7535 after a recovery last week from below $0.748