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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index drops 3% as China tech and education shares plunge

Chinese stocks fall as tensions with U.S. rise

Mainland Chinese stocks also saw sizable declines on Monday, with the Shanghai composite down 2.34% to 3,467.44 while the Shenzhen component fell 2.646% to 14,630.85.

Geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing may have weighed on investor sentiment, as a high-level meeting between the two economic powerhouses got off to an acrimonious start.

China’s vice foreign minister said during Monday talks with the U.S. deputy secretary of state that the two countries’ relationship is “now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties,” according to an English-language press release from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In other markets, South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.91% lower at 3,224.95. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 ended the trading day flat at 7,394.30.

Returning to trade following holidays on Thursday and Friday, Japanese stocks bucked the overall trend regionally. The Nikkei 225 jumped 1.04% on the day to 27,833.29 while the Topix index advanced 1.11% to close at 1,925.62.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.84%.

Singapore’s manufacturing output declined 3% in June on a seasonally adjusted, month-on-month basis, according to official data released Monday.

Covid restrictions in Asia

Investors likely continued to monitor the Covid situation in Asia as it weighs on sentiment.

In South Korea, the second highest level of virus restrictions will be applied to non-capital areas starting Tuesday, local agency Yonhap reported. Elsewhere, Tokyo’s daily coronavirus tally has exceeded 1,000 for six days in a row, according to Kyodo News.

Indonesia on Sunday also extended its Covid restrictions by a week, according to Reuters. The country has been among multiple Southeast Asian nations that have been grappling with a resurgence in infections.

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On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Averaged closed above 35,000 for the first time ever while the S&P 500 jumped 1.01% to 4,411.79 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.04% to 14,836.99. Friday’s moves upward saw all three major indexes stateside at new closing highs.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.873 following a recent bounce from below 92.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.27 per dollar, weaker than levels below 110 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7341, above levels below $0.732 seen last week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.09% to $73.29 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 1.22% to $71.19 per barrel.

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