Asia stocks fall following recent sell-off; Shanghai composite hits new low since Nov 2014

  • Asia stocks fell on Monday as investors remained cautious, following global losses in the previous week.
  • The Shanghai composite entered into lows that were previously seen in November of 2014.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 finished the week down by more than 4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite posted a 3.7 percent weekly loss.

Stocks in Asia slipped on Monday afternoon as investors remained cautious, following global losses in the previous week.

In the Greater China region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell by around 1.32 percent as of 3:31 a.m. HK/SIN.

The Shanghai composite also slipped by 1.49 percent to close at around 2,568.10 — its lowest since November 2014 — while the Shenzhen composite declined by 1.178 percent to end the trading day at about 1,281.08.

The moves in China came as new reserve requirements for lenders went into effect, in a move by the People's Bank of China which is expected to inject 750 billion yuan (around $108.4 billion) into the banking system.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell by 1.87 percent to close at 22,271.30, while the Topix index slipped by 1.59 percent at 1,675.44, with most sectors ending the trading day lower.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi also saw losses of 0.77 percent to close at 2,145.12, with industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics slipping by 0.45 percent and chipmaker SK Hynix falling by 2.9 percent.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 fell around 1 percent to end the trading day Down Under at 5,837.1 with most sectors lower. The heavily weighted financial subindex fell 1.62 percent as major banking shares saw losses — Commonwealth Bank was down 2.09 percent, ANZ fell 1.85 percent, Westpac was lower by 1.59 percent and the National Australia Bank declined by 1.58 percent.

Softbank stock under pressure from Saudi ties

Softbank saw its stock plunging by more than 7.2 percent on Monday over concerns of the company's ties to Saudi Arabia, which is under mounting pressure internationally following the disappearance of a prominent journalist who was a critic of the administration.

The Saudi journalist and U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi, has been missing since he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Saudi Arabia has denied it was involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Oil prices increase amid missing Saudi journalist case

In oil markets, prices lost some earlier gains but remained higher during Asian trade on Monday afternoon. The global benchmark Brent crude futures contract advanced by 0.56 percent to $80.88 per barrel, while the U.S. crude futures contract rose 0.36 percent to $71.60 per barrel.

"The alleged murder of the Saudi journalist in their embassy in Turkey opens a new source of risk, as President Trump threatens "punishment". Any Saudi retaliation will presumably mainly come through reduced oil supply and higher prices. That won't help market sentiment," Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research Asia-Pacific at ING, said in a morning note.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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In the previous week, stocks sold off globally as investors fretted over rising interest rates, valuations and worries about a possible economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 finished the week down by more than 4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite posted a 3.7 percent weekly loss.

US-China trade war in focus

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China remain a focus for investors. On Sunday, China's central bank governor Yi Gang said the People's Bank of China still has "plenty of monetary instruments" and "room for adjustment" with respect to countering the impact of a trade war.

On the same day, Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai told "Fox News Sunday" in an interview that diplomats "don't know who is the final decision-maker" within President Donald Trump's White House.

Currencies

Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, traded at 95.220 as of 3:41 p.m. HK/SIN, following a slide from highs above 96.0 last week.

The Japanese yen was at 111.73 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 113.8 last week, while the Australian dollar traded at $0.7127 after seeing gains from around 0.705 in the previous week.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert, Mike Calia and Evelyn Cheng, along with Reuters, contributed to this report.