Hong Kong Leads Asia Losses

Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly declined on Thursday, as Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong came under pressure after regulatory fears resurfaced.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 248.92 points, or 0.9%, Thursday to 28,118.03.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.85 per dollar, having strengthened earlier this week from above 111 against the greenback.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng tumbled 807.49 points, or 2.9%, to 27,153.13.

In Thursday afternoon trade in Hong Kong, shares of Tencent dropped 3.7% while Alibaba declined 4.1% and Meituan plunged 6.4%.

Investors also likely continued to monitor the COVID situation regionally. The Japanese government is set to declare another COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo until Aug. 22, according to local news agency Kyodo News.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported the highest daily COVID-19 cases since the pandemic hit the country, according to news agency Yonhap. Australia’s New South Wales state also announced Wednesday a week-long extension of Sydney’s lockdown.

Globally, the death toll from COVID-19 crossed four million late Wednesday as world infections topped 185 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7433 as it struggled to recover after slipping from above $0.756 earlier in the week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 subtracted 52.23 points, or 1%, to 5,088.26.

Beijing recently announced a stepping up in oversight on Chinese listings in the U.S., many of whom are tech companies. That came after a recent crackdown on ride-hailing giant Didi and other tech firms, which once again raised concerns over the regulatory outlook.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index shed 34.01 points, or 1.1% to 3,107.59

The Kospi index in Korea handed back 32.66 points, or 1%, to 3,252.68.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index recovered 15.4 points, or 0.1%, to 17,866.09

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 eked up 4.71 points to 12,752.52

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 14.57 points, or 0.2%, to 7,341.43.