By The Financial District
Asia Stocks Down Even As China Scales Back COVID Curbs
Shares fell in Asia on Wednesday with Hong Kong’s benchmark down more than 2% even as Beijing announced it was drastically scaling back its “zero-COVID” policies, shifting away from trying to isolate every single case, Elaine Kurtenbach reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 2.5% to 18,949.24 and the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4% at 3,199.62.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 2.5% to 18,949.24 and the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4% at 3,199.62. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.7% to 27,686.40 and the Kospi in Seoul gave up 0.4% to 2,382.81.
The Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% to 3,199.62, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.9% to 7,229.40.
Shares also fell in Mumbai and Bangkok. China reported its imports and exports fell in November as global demand weakened and anti-virus controls weighed on the second-largest economy.
Customs data showed exports sank 9% from a year earlier, worsening from October’s 0.9% decline. Imports fell 10.9%, down from the previous month’s 0.7% retreat.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 1.4%, its fourth straight loss, to 3,941.26 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq sank 2%, to 11,014.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1% to 33,596.34, while the Russell 2000 slipped 1.5% to 1,812.58.
Technology stocks, communication companies and retailers had some of the biggest losses. Apple fell 2.5%, Disney slid 3.8% and AutoZone dropped 2.8%. Small company stocks also fell, pulling the Russell 2000 index 1.5% lower. The major indexes are on pace for a weekly loss after posting two straight weekly gains.
In other trading Wednesday, US benchmark crude oil gained 1 cent to $74.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil, the international standard for pricing, gained 16 cents to $79.51 per barrel. The dollar rose to 137.55 Japanese yen from 136.94 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0457 from $1.0468.
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