Hong Kong Leads Asia Lower

Chinese stocks fell in afternoon trading on Monday, while investors monitored bitcoin prices after they dropped sharply over the weekend. Oil prices jumped during Asia trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 102.2 points, or 0.4%, to 27,927.37,

The Japanese yen traded at 113.10 per U.S. dollar, weakening slightly.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng tumbled 417.31 points, or 1.8%, to 23,349.38, as tech stocks fell. JD dropped 4.9% and Tencent was down 3.2%.

Alibaba shares in Hong Kong fell nearly 8% in early trade, but later recovered slightly to close down 5.6%. The company announced Toby Xu, its deputy chief financial officer, will succeed Maggie Wu as chief financial officer. That change will be effective Apr. 1.

That followed Friday’s losses in shares of Chinese firms listed in the U.S., as they dropped on concerns about stricter regulatory scrutiny after Didi announced it would delist from the New York Stock Exchange.

Four new stocks — including Chinese technology giants JD and Netease — were added to the benchmark Hang Seng index. The latest update increases the number of stocks in the main index to 64, from the current 60 stocks.

At the same time, troubled Chinese property developer Evergrande will be removed from the China Enterprises index.

Evergrande, embroiled in debt problems, warned Friday in a filing with the Hong Kong exchange that it has received a demand to repay about $260 million.

After meeting the last few interest payments at the 11th hour, the firm faces another grace period deadline on debt payments of $82.5 million, according to Reuters.

Evergrande shares plunged nearly 20% on Monday.

Investors will continue to monitor crypto after bitcoin prices were volatile throughout the weekend, dropping sharply Saturday afternoon during Asia hours. Bitcoin initially lost about 17%, or $10,000 — falling to a low near $43,000.

Bitcoin was at $48,803 as of Monday afternoon during Asia hours. Still, the cryptocurrency has lost over 10% since Friday.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7016, edging higher from levels around $0.69 earlier.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 fell 8.4 points, or 0.2%, to 4,892.62.

In Taiwan, the Taiex doffed 8.93 points, or 0.1%, to 17,688.21

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 14.39 points, or 0.5%, to 3,116.32

In Korea, the Kospi index nosed ahead 4.92 points, or 0.2%, to 2,973.25

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 retreated 78.69 points, or 0.6%, to 12,597.81

In Australia, the ASX 200 eked up 3.9 points, or 0.1%, at 7,244.07