Asia-Pacific stocks fall as Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate
Asia-Pacific stocks fell on Tuesday as tensions surrounding Russia and Ukraine continued to keep investors on edge. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.2% on Monday after closing up 2.5%, and South Korea’s Kospi index declined by 0.6%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index also declined slightly by 0.3%. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down by 0.3% and 0.1%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index showed losses, dropping 2.88% as of its final hour of trading.
Chinese authorities have reportedly told banks and other state firms to report their holdings in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other technology companies. It is the latest sign of regulatory tightening ahead of a key Communist Party meeting this month. Additionally, according to a Bloomberg report, the move came after Chinese regulators said they would require some companies to disclose their internet finance and payment industry holdings. These companies include state-owned lenders.
Overview of the shares in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond
Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba fell 3.38%. Other Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech shares also dropped, with Tencent dropping 1.38% and Meituan falling 5.66%. Furthermore, the Hang Seng Tech index fell 2.43%.
The Shanghai Composite in mainland China finished 0.97% lower at 3,457.16, and the Shenzhen component fell 1.293% to 13,297.12.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan also saw losses, closing 1.72% lower at 26,449.62 while the Topix index fell 1.56% to 1,881.09. In South Korea, the Kospi declined 1.36% on the day to 2,706.78.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.1%, ending the trading day at 7,161.31.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares traded 1.64% lower.
Investors will persist in monitoring geopolitical tensions after Vladimir Putin ordered forces into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. Moreover, it happened after a Monday announcement that he would recognize their independence.
After that action, the White House responded, with Joe Biden ordering sanctions against these separatist regions in Ukraine.