Asian stocks declined, with a regional gauge heading for a one-week low, as Chinese shares tumbled the most since the depths of this year’s rout as some of the largest brokerages disclosed regulatory probes and the nation’s industrial profits fell.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.9 percent to 133.34 at 4:41 p.m. Hong Kong time, heading for the lowest close since Nov. 18 and a 0.9 percent decline this week. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 5.5 percent, the most since August, as China’s biggest brokerages Citic Securities Co. and Haitong Securities Co. plunged amid investigations for alleged rule violations. The crackdown in the finance industry comes as the government widens an anti-corruption campaign and seeks to assign blame for a $ 5 trillion stock-market plunge.
Citic Securities said it received a notice from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Thursday saying it will be investigated because it allegedly violated regulations on the supervision and administration of securities firms, while Haitong Securities Co. is also being probed, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Source : Bloomberg
Japanese stocks fell, with airlines leading declines after a brokerage downgraded its price target on the nation’s two largest carriers. Iron and steel producers rallied amid signs China is stepping up its efforts to support the domestic metals industry.
The Topix index lost 0.4 percent to 1,595.77 at the lunch break in Tokyo, reversing a gain of 0.2 percent and heading for a weekly loss of 0.5 percent in a shortened trading week. Volume was 4 percent lower than the 30-day intraday average. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.3 percent to 19,894.88, falling from a three-month high.
ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. each fell at least 1.7 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. said both carriers face a drop in fuel surcharges from Dec. 1 and stiffer competition from Chinese rivals. The broker lowered its price target for both companies, and maintained their neutral rating.
Chinese regulators are considering a request from a metal industry group to curb excessive short selling, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. climbed 3.3 percent after copper jumped as much as 4.2 percent, while Kyoei Steel Ltd. rose 1.2 percent.