Sharp Falls in Asia

Hong Kong stocks led sharp losses in Asia-Pacific markets after the S&P 500 set a new 2022 low overnight on Wall Street. The offshore and onshore Chinese yuan reached weakest levels since 2008 and the Indian rupee also marked a record low.

The Nikkei 225 dumped 397.89 points, or 1.5%, to 26,173.98.

Consumer inflation excluding fresh food is likely to rise this year, but the rate of increase will slow thereafter on energy prices, minutes from Bank of Japan’s July meeting said.

A few members also said inflation, excluding fresh food and energy, is unlikely to reach 2% within its projection period. That CPI reading was 1.6% in August.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index declined 609.43 points, or 3.4%, to 17,250.88.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 63.58 points, or 1.6%, to 3,828.71.

The offshore and onshore Chinese yuan breached 7.2 against the dollar, hovering at weakest levels since early 2008.

The U.S. dollar index also strengthened by 0.33%, trading at 114.47.

The yuan will likely return to a “reasonable range” between six and seven versus the U.S. dollar — as soon as next year, said Han Baojiang, director of the department of economics, Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 49.19 points, or 1.6%, to 3,116.31.

In Korea, the Kospi index shed 54.57 points, or 2.5%, to 2,169.29.

In Taiwan, the Taiex weakened 360.52 points, or 2.6%, to 13,466.07

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved downward 34.13 points, or 0.5%, to 6,462.03.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 faded 94.92 points, or 0.9%, to 11,119.57.