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Stocks in Asia-Pacific are Struggling to Overcome Challenges  

Stocks in Asia-Pacific are still struggling to cope with challenges. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index suffered the biggest losses, with shares of Chinese developer China Evergrande Group continuing to drop.

It fell 3.51% in Monday afternoon trade. Shares of property giant China Evergrande Group in the city dropped 14.17%. Importantly, the Hang Seng Properties index declined to a 52-week low, last trading nearly 7% lower. 

Hong Kong-listed shares of insurers also declined. Shares of AIA fell about 5.2% while Ping An Insurance dropped 7.43%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined nearly 2%, with shares of major miners declining: Rio Tinto fell 3.69%, Fortescue Metals Group dropped 3.73% and BHP plunged 4.16%.

Markets in South Korea, Japan, as well as mainland China are closed on Monday for holidays. 

 

U.S. stocks on Friday  

Stocks declined on Friday as investors remain cautious due to a resurgent Covid virus. They are also monitoring Fed’s upcoming meeting and a historical tendency for September to be a weak month for equities.

The country’s central bank meets for two days next week. It is expected to give further clues as to when the Fed may start to slow its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases that supported the recovery. The central bank’s Chair Jerome Powell stated that the so-called tapering could occur in 2021. 

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 166.44 points or 0.5% to close at 34,584.88, dragged down by a nearly 2.09% drop in Dow Inc. The S&P 500 declined 0.9% to 4,432.09 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.9% to close at 15,043.97. 

Interestingly, meta-cap technology stocks were mostly in the red, with social media giant Facebook falling 2.2% and Alphabet dropping just shy of 2%. Tech giant Apple fell 1.8% and another tech giant Microsoft declined 1.7%. 

On Friday, the FDA’s advisory committee rejected a plan to administer booster shots of Pfizer’s vaccine to the general public. The committee’s decision affected the shares of Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna. Shares of Pfizer dropped 1.3%, BioNTech declined 3.6% and Moderna lost 2.4%. 

U.S. stocks closed on Friday with losses for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1% last week, for its third straight week of declines. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 0.6% since Monday for its second straight week of losses. During the same period of time, the Nasdaq Composite fell close to 0.5%.

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