Hong Kong and Singapore stocks down; Tension in Korea weighing down on Asian markets

<p>Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday along with nearly 3% drop in Chinese stocks as the year-end profit taking action and fear of further tightening […]</p>

Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday along with nearly 3% drop in Chinese stocks as the year-end profit taking action and fear of further tightening measures weighted down the market.

The Chinese Central bank’s increase in official interest rates and deposit reserve rate definitely dried up the funds in the markets to a certain degree.

The Hang Seng index lost 0.99% to 22490.16 at mid day on the back of relatively thin trading volume. All the financial stocks were down with Ping An insurance company falling 2.8%. All of the four major Chinese banks listed in the Hong Kong stock exchange were out of investor favour as market speculation that Chinese bank profits might be affected due to restriction on new lending rates next year.

The Strait Times Index lost 0.78% before midday largely led by energy and consumer goods sectors. The increased tension between North and South Korea also added pressure to the market. All the major banks including DBS, UOB and OCBC fell more than 0.5%.

Singapore Airlines outperformed the index today after the company announced a 49.3 million bid for 16% stake in Shanghai-based China Cargo, is currently owned 70% by China Eastern Airline (the second largest airline in China). Singapore Airline aims to increase its presence in China, targeting the busiest aviation market in Asia.

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