Asian Stocks Plunge Amidst Covid Protests In China

Asian stocks plunged on Monday amidst a flare-up in protests against China’s strict Covid curbs. The surging Covid caseload and the widespread protests in China dampened investor sentiment in most of the Asian markets. Sentiment also impacted commodity, bond and currency markets as well as global stock indexes.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 23.14 points or 0.8 percent to finish at 3,078.55. The day’s trading ranged between 3,034.70 and 3,080.18. The Shenzhen Component Index shed 75.19 points or 0.7 percent to close at 10,829.08.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index fell 120.20 points or 0.4 percent to end trading at 28,162.83. The day’s trading range was between 28,046.32 and 28,238.50.

Shinsei Bank was the biggest gainer with a 2.2 percent jump. Internet media company CyberAgent, which is providing free streaming of football World Cup matches, dropped more than 7 percent after Japan lost a world cup match. JFE Holdings and Kobe Steel both declined more than 3 percent.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange lost 275.64 points or 1.6 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 17,297.94. The day’s trading range was between a high of 17,364.21 and a low of 16,833.68.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index slumped 29.59 points or 1.2 percent to close trading at 2,408.27. The day’s trading range was between 2,401.95 and 2,425.65.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 7,229.10 after shedding 30.40 points or 0.42 percent. The day’s trading was between 7,216.00 and 7,259.50.

Mining business New Hope Corporation was the top gainer with a 5.4 percent rally. Whitehaven Coal, another mining business, also added close to 4 percent. Building materials company Brickworks gained more than 3 percent.

Healthcare business Healius dropped more than 10 percent after its latest trading update revealed a drop in revenues. Weak commodity prices dragged down mining stocks.

Mining business Liontown Resources declined 7.5 percent whereas gold miner Ramelius Resources and battery materials company Novonix, both dropped more than 6 percent.

The NZX 50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 74.25 points or 0.7 percent to close at 11,308.31. Trading ranged between 11,280.74 and 11,382.56.

Despite the negative trend, stocks of retirement village companies rose following reports of government funding. Oceania Healthcare was the top gainer with a 6.4 percent surged. Arvida Group added 4.4 percent. Summerset Group Holdings gained 2.8 percent. Electronic components maker EROAD also gained 3.4 percent.

Weak commodity prices dragged down energy stocks. Mercury NZ and Genesis Energy both declined more than 4 percent. Software business Vista Group International also declined close to 4 percent.

Wall Street closed Friday’s shortened session on a mixed note. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.5 percent to close at 11,226.36, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 percent to finish trading at 34,347.03.

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