Markets

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index Falls Nearly 5% for the Week; Evergrande Shares Drop More Than 3%

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  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Friday.
  • Shares of China Evergrande Group fell 3.42% on Friday as fears over its debt problems continue to weigh on investor sentiment.
  • The benchmark Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed 1.03% higher at 24,920.76, recovering partially from heavy losses earlier in the week. Still, the index declined nearly 5% for the week amid regulatory concerns surrounding sectors such as technology and casinos.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday, with shares of China Evergrande Group continuing to take a beating.

Shares of China Evergrande Group fell 3.42% on Friday, clawing back from losses after plummeting more than 11% earlier, as fears over its debt problems continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed 1.03% higher at 24,920.76, recovering partially from heavy losses earlier in the week. Still, the index declined nearly 5% for the week amid regulatory concerns surrounding sectors such as technology and casinos.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.19% to 3,613.97 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.71% to 14,359.36.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan climbed 0.58% to finish the trading day at 30,500.05 while the Topix index gained 0.48% to 2,100.17. South Korea's Kospi closed 0.33% higher at 3,140.51.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.76% to close at 7,403.70.

Shares of Australian miners dropped following a recent decline in iron ore prices: Rio Tinto declined 4.7% and BHP shed 3.67% while Fortescue Metals Group plunged 11.48%.

"Iron ore prices tumbled below $US110/t (62% Fe, CFR China) yesterday," Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a Friday note.

"The fall in prices is primarily linked to China's steel output cuts. China is looking to cap China's crude steel output in 2021 at 2020 levels to reduce emissions," Dhar said.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.33%.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 63.07 points to 34,751.32 while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.16% to 4,473.75. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.13% to 15,181.92.

The moves on Wall Street came after the Census Bureau reported Thursday that August's retail sales increased 0.7% for the month against the Dow Jones estimate of a decline of 0.8%. The initial estimate for July, however, was revised down to a decline of nearly 2% from a month-over-month gain of 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the latest unemployment insurance weekly data showed 332,000 first-time jobless claims last week, higher than the Dow Jones estimate of 320,000.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers was at 92.802 following a recent jump from below 92.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.94 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.6 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7315, against an earlier low of $0.7279.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.59% to $75.22 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.72% to $72.09 per barrel.

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