Hong Kong, Much of Asia, Takes Dive

Hong Kong stocks dropped on Thursday, with shares in the rest of Asia-Pacific also largely declining.

The Nikkei 225 stumbled 173.02 points, or 0.6%, to 30,008.19.

The Japanese yen traded at 110 per U.S. dollar, stronger than levels around 110.4 seen against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index withered 604.93 points, or 2.3%, to 25,716.

Shares of Tencent declined 8.5%, and Netease dropped 11% in Hong Kong on Thursday, after regulatory pressures surfaced again.

Chinese state media reported that the two were among video game firms summoned to a meeting with regulators. Issues discussed during the meeting included reminding them of restrictions on game time for children.

Sentiment on the sector took a further hit following a South China Morning Post report on Thursday afternoon that the Chinese government has temporarily suspended approval for all new online games in the country.

Private education stocks also took a beating after China’s Wednesday ban on private tutors giving classes online or in unregistered venues. New Oriental Education & Technology’s stock plunged 5.5%, while smaller rival Koolearn Technology fell 4.7%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7368, lower than levels above $0.74 seen earlier this week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 fell 2.12 points to 4,970.01.

China’s consumer price index rose 0.8% year-on-year in August, compared to expectations for a 1% increase in a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, the producer price index jumped 9.5% from a year ago, as compared to forecasts of a 9% rise in a Reuters poll.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index sank 48.29 points, or 1.5%, to 3,114.70

In Singapore, the Straits Times squeaked ahead 2.76 points, or 0.1%, to 3,071.70

In Taiwan, the Taiex index restocked 33.84 points, or 0.2%, to 17,304.33

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 97.24 points, or 0.7%, to 13,095.77

In Australia, the ASX 200 tumbled 142.49 points, or 1.9%, at 7,369.53