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Asian Stocks Topple as Middle East Tensions Linger: Korean and Israeli Markets Hit Hardest
tumbling more than 2%.
The Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.4%, while the Topix index fell 1.8%. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.7%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index shed 0.6%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index declined 0.7%, while China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.2%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index was down 0.2%.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas continued to dominate headlines, with Israel launching airstrikes in Gaza and Hamas firing rockets at Tel Aviv.
In corporate news, shares of Softbank Group Corp. dropped 3.3% after the company said it would sell its stake in chipmaker Arm Holdings to Nvidia Corp. for $40 billion.
Meanwhile, shares of Apple Inc. rose 0.5% after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter.
In currency markets, the U.S. dollar was trading at 104.70 yen, compared with 104.66 yen on Friday. The euro was trading at $1.1819, compared with $1.1795 on Friday.
tumbling more than 1%.
The Nikkei 225 index fell 1.17% to 26,816.20 by 02:02 AM ET (06:02 GMT), while South Korea’s Kospi index dropped 0.46% to 3,207.64.
Chinese markets were closed for a public holiday.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.36% to 6,735.50.
Investors remained cautious as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continued for a fourth week.
The fighting has killed more than 200 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was little changed at 90.743.
The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.76 per dollar, up 0.03%.
The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7748, while the offshore yuan was at 6.4265 per dollar.
In other news, the U.S. Treasury Department said it had sanctioned three Chinese companies for helping North Korea evade international sanctions.
Oil prices were mixed, with U.S. crude futures up 0.2% at $41.77 a barrel and Brent crude futures down 0.2% at $44.11.
leading the losses.
The Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5%, or 442.14 points, to 28,948.53 by 6:35 PM ET (22:35 GMT).
In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 0.5% to 3,112.16.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.7% to 28,948.53, while mainland China’s Shanghai Composite index was 0.2% lower at 3,441.40.
The losses came as tensions between Israel and Hamas continued to simmer, with the two sides exchanging fire over the weekend.
Elsewhere, tech stocks were broadly lower, with Samsung Electronics down 1.4%, SK Hynix off 0.8%, a nd Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing down 0.9%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.3% to 6,845.40, with the heavily-weighted financials sub-index down 0.8%.
The overall downbeat mood in the region weighed on the safe-haven Japanese yen, with the USD/JPY pair last at 104.83, up 0.1%.
The Australian dollar was also higher, with AUD/USD at 0.7706, up 0.1%.
tumbling more than 2%.
The Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.3% to close at 26,871.39, its lowest level since late August. The broader Topix index declined 1.9% to 1,817.06.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi index fell 1.3% to 3,079.19, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.7% to 6,767.80.
Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for holiday.
The losses came as investors remained concerned about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has so far killed more than 200 people.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar was trading at 109.99 against the Japanese yen, a touch higher than its previous close of 109.97.
Asian stocks were weak on Monday as tensions in the Middle East persisted, with the Nikkei tumbling. Investors were worried about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries. The conflict has also caused a spike in oil prices, which has weighed on sentiment in the region.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index was down 1.6%, while the Topix index was down 1.2%. In South Korea, the Kospi index was down 0.9%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7%.
The conflict in the Middle East has caused oil prices to rise, with Brent crude futures up 0.7% to $41.51 a barrel. The rise in oil prices has weighed on sentiment in the region, as higher oil prices can hurt economic growth.
In addition to the Middle East tensions, investors were also concerned about the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the region. South Korea reported its highest daily tally of new cases since August, while Japan reported its highest daily tally since April.
Investors were also keeping an eye on the U.S. presidential election, with the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden tightening.
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The stock market can be volatile, and investing in stocks carries risks. Always do your own research and consider consulting with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions. The content is created by Artificial Intelligence and has no proven information. The information is for entertainment purposes only and might not be true.