Asia Slips on Chinese Regulatory Fears

Shares in Asia-Pacific declined on Tuesday, with Chinese internet stocks in Hong Kong falling again as regulatory fears resurfaced.

The Nikkei 225 declined 98.72 points, or 0.4%, to 27,424.47.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.34 per U.S. dollar, stronger than levels above 109.5 seen against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index plunged 435.59 points, or 1.7%, to 25,745.87.

By the Tuesday market close in Hong Kong, shares of Tencent dropped 4.1% while Alibaba plunged 4.8% and JD.com slipped 5.2%.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s August monetary policy meeting, released Tuesday, showed the central bank acknowledging that outbreaks of the delta variant and the accompanying lockdowns "had introduced a high degree of uncertainty to the outlook for the second half of 2021."

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7295, following yesterday’s drop from above $0.735.

The New Zealand dollar fell more than 1% to $0.6929 after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will be moving into a nationwide lockdown following the discovery of one Covid case in Auckland.

That development came a day ahead of expectations that the New Zealand central bank could become the first advanced economy in Asia-Pacific to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 plummeted 103.67 points, or 2.1%, to 4,837.40.

Those losses came after China’s market regulator issued draft rules on Tuesday aimed at stopping unfair competition on the internet.

In other markets

Markets in Korea emerged from a long weekend on the downside, the Kospi index sliding 28.2 points, or 0.9%, to 3,143.09

In Singapore, the Straits Times dipped 27.01 points, or 0.9%, to 3,118.51

In Taiwan, the Taiex index collapsed 197.41 points, or 1.2%, to 16,661.36

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 84.83 points, or 0.7%, to 12,635/32.

In Australia, the ASX 200 faded 71.42 points, or 0.9%, at 7,511.03