Asian Stock MarketsAsian Pacific Stocks Lower, Hang Seng Index Drops more than 3%

A man walks past a screen displaying share prices inside the Osaka Securities Exchange building, operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Osaka, Japan, [Photo/Bloomberg]

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses among Asia-Pacific markets in Monday trade, with shares of embattled Chinese developer China Evergrande Group continuing to drop.

The Hang Seng index dropped 3.3% to close at 23,099.14. Shares of China Evergrande Group in the city plummeted 10.24%, after falling as much as 17% earlier.

The Hang Seng Properties Index dropped to a 52-week low, falling 6.69% on the day.

Asian Markets
Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

Shares of insurers listed in asia also plunged. AIA dropped 4.94% while Ping An Insurance fell 5.78%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 2.1% on the day to 7,248.20, with shares of major miners declining: Rio Tinto dropped 3.6%, Fortescue Metals Group declined 3.73% while BHP slipped 4.16%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.6% while the Markets in mainland China, Japan and South Korea were closed on Monday for holidays.

Over on Wall Street, stocks have struggled in the seasonally weak month of September, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing three straight weeks of losses — its first in 2021.

Investor focus for the week will likely be on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s upcoming September meeting for clues on the central bank’s tapering of its easy monetary policy.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

Oil prices fell on Monday, extending losses from Friday after the U.S. dollar jumped to a three-week high and the U.S. rig count rose, although nearly a quarter of U.S. Gulf of Mexico output remained offline in the wake of two hurricanes.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $71.67 a barrel at 0059 GMT, after declining by 64 cents on Friday. Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.4%, to $75.07 a barrel after losing 33 cents on Friday.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.368 after a recent jump from below 93.

The Japanese yen was at 109.71 per dollar, having weakened last week from below 109.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar traded at $0.7239, following its slip from above $0.736 last week.

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