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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index drops 4% as Evergrande shares plunge


SINGAPORE — Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses among Asia-Pacific markets in Monday trade, with shares of embattled Chinese developer China Evergrande Group continuing to drop.

In the city, Hang Seng dropped by 3.87% on Monday afternoon. China Evergrande Group shares plunged almost 17% in this city. Hang Seng Properties’ index fell to its 52-week lowest point, trading at 7% less than the previous close.

Insurers listed in the capital also saw shares plunge. AIA dropped about 6% while Ping An Insurance fell 7.52%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia fell 2.2%, with shares of major miners declining: Rio Tinto dropped 4.16%, Fortescue Metals Group declined 4.94% while BHP slipped 4.9%.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific share index outside Japan was 1.85%.

Monday holidays see markets in South Korea, Japan and China close.

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Over on Wall Street, stocks have struggled in the seasonally weak month of September, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing three straight weeks of losses — its first in 2021.

Investor focus for the week will likely be on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s upcoming September meeting for clues on the central bank’s tapering of its easy monetary policy.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.338 after a recent jump from below 93.

The Japanese yen was at 109.92 per dollar, having weakened last week from below 109.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar traded at $0.7232, following its slip from above $0.736 last week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.85% to $74.70 per barrel. U.S. crude futures The barrel price dropped by 1.01%, to $71.24