Stock Market Today: Asian Stocks Mostly Fall as Chinese Shares Skid Despite Moves to Help Markets

Stock Market Today: Asian Stocks Mostly Fall as Chinese Shares Skid Despite Moves to Help Markets

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HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks mostly fell on Monday, with Chinese stocks again leading declines even after the market regulator in Beijing pledged to crack down on abuses and protect small investors.

The smaller Shenzhen market’s main index sank 5.4%, but then quickly recovered to trade 1.7% lower. The Shanghai Composite index fell more than 2% before recovering some of the lost ground.

US futures fell and oil prices rose.

On Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would step up enforcement against crimes such as market manipulation and malicious short selling, while guiding more medium- and long-term funds into the market.

The move followed others in recent days that appear to have done little to reassure investors who have been withdrawing money from the markets for months. Last week, Chinese stocks had their worst week in five years.

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Former President Donald Trump’s comments that he could impose a tariff of more than 60% on imports of Chinese goods if he is re-elected also hurt market sentiment. In another blow, a report said China’s services sector grew at a slightly slower pace in January, with the purchasing managers’ index falling to 52.7 from 52.9 in December, according to a private sector survey. on Monday. A PMI above 50 indicates expansion compared to the previous month.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2% at 2,725.54. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 15,630.63.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6% to 36,390.31.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 sank 1% to 7,623.30. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6% to 2,599.62.

On Friday, Big Tech stocks once again led Wall Street to a record high, even as most stocks fell on renewed concerns about the risks of a hot economy.

Big gains from Meta Platforms and Amazon helped lift the S&P 500 Index up 1.1% to close at 4,958.61. He is on a torrid run in which he has been promoted in 13 of the last 14 weeks. Big Tech stocks, which are two of the most influential on Wall Street, also sent the Nasdaq composite up 1.7%.

But the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has less emphasis on technology, rose a more modest 0.3% to 38,654.42. And the Nasdaq jumped 1.7% to 15,628.95.

That’s great for workers and helps keep the risk of a recession at bay, but it could preserve some upward pressure on inflation and lead the Federal Reserve to wait longer before starting to cut interest rates.

Hopes for such cuts, which could ease pressure on the economy and boost investment prices, have been a major reason the U.S. stock market has hit record highs. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this week that the cuts are unlikely to begin as soon as merchants expected.

The jobs report hit Wall Street amid a flurry of earnings reports.

MetaplatformsThe owner of Facebook and Instagram, soared 20.3% after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the latest quarter and said it would begin paying a dividend to its investors.

Amazon surged 7.9% after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue for the latest quarter.

Both are members of a small group of Big Tech stocks known as the “Magnificent Seven,” responsible for most of Wall Street’s run to a record. Their huge profits have created very high expectations for their growth, which they must meet to justify the big rises in their stock prices.

Appleanother member of the Magnificent Seven, fell 0.5% despite reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Charter Communications plunged 16.5%, the biggest loss in the S&P 500 after it reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to $72.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 52 cents to $77.85 a barrel.

The US dollar fell to 148.38 Japanese yen from 148.43 yen. The euro was worth $1.0779, down from $1.0784.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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