Hong Kong analayst on Asia markets slump

(19 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hong Kong – 19 April 2024
1. Wide of Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange building with people walking past
2. Electronic display on Hong Kong Stock Exchange building showing Hang Seng Index
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Francis Lun, CEO of GEO Securities:
"When the news that Israel took revenge on Iran, the markets in East Asia generally crashed. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all lost more than 3%, but then the China market fell slightly and the Hong Kong market also fell a little bit more."
4. Push in on digital display on wall of Hong Kong Stock Exchange building
5. Wide of people near fountains
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Francis Lun, CEO, GEO Securities:
"The market really took it in its stride and, I believe that it won’t be serious because everybody, the gulf states and the U.S., try (to) put pressure on Iran and Israel, asking them not to really increase the scope of the conflict. So you can do some retaliatory strike but not too much, not to expand the war. I think right now what we are seeing is exactly that, so let’s hope that the conflict will not increase in size and scope and then I think that the equity markets can rebound after this."
7. Various of traffic and people walking
STORYLINE:
Veteran finance market watcher, Francis Lun, shared his thoughts on Friday after Asian stocks tumbled, with Japan’s Nikkei slumping 3.5% on heavy selling of semiconductor-related shares and other market heavyweights.

Tensions in the Middle East were weighing on sentiment across the region, and U.S. futures were sharply lower.

"When the news that Israel took revenge on Iran, the markets in East Asia generally crashed. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all lost more than 3%, but then the China market fell slightly and the Hong Kong market also fell a little bit more," Lun said.

On Friday, oil prices jumped about $3 as the state-run IRNA news agency reported that Iran fired air defense batteries early Friday morning after reports of explosions near the city of Isfahan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 plunged 3.51% to 36,742.05.

Semiconductor equipment supplier Lasertec was the largest loser, it lost 9.7% in morning trading.

But most other big tech-related shares also dropped.

Renesas gave up 7.3%, Tokyo Electron lost 7.8% and Sony Group Corp. declined 3.3%.

Toyota Motor Corp was down 3.7%.

Japan’s headline inflation rate in March slowed to 2.7%, while the core-core index, excluding fresh food and energy costs, moderated to 2.9%, marking the first time since November 2022 that the index fell below 3%.

The yen was slightly firmer against the U.S. dollar, with the latter falling to 153.80 Japanese yen from 154.64 yen.

Markets are waiting for the Japanese central bank’s next move after it raised its benchmark interest rate last month for the first time in 17 years, ending a longstanding policy of negative rates meant to boost the economy.

But the rate remains near zero.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 1.7% to 7,512.70.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 2.9% to 2,558.56.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.4% to 16,161.24, while the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.1% to 3,071.76.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 5,011.12 after flipping between small gains and losses through the day.

The drop was slight, but it was still enough to send the index to a fifth straight loss.

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Author: admin