Stocks in Asia mostly slipped on Monday as investors awaited the resumption of U.S.-China negotiations this week amid low expectations for a major breakthrough.
Shares in mainland China were mixed on the day, the Shanghai compositeslipped 0.12% to 2,941.01, while the Shenzhen component and Shenzhen composite were fractionally higher at 9,354.28 and 1,574.95 respectively.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.16%, as of its final hour of trading, as tensions remain high in the city following another clash between protestors and the police over the weekend. Shares of life insurer AIA declined 2.02%.
“Hong Kong I think, in a business sense, is suffering from this sort of situation,” Richard Harris, chief executive at Port Shelter Investment Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
“That’s likely to help Singapore and it’s probably likely to help the banks especially because it’s so easy to move money, cash money, from one jurisdiction to another,” Harris said.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi dropped 1.78% to finish its trading day at 2,029.48 — lower than its final close of 2018 — as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix plunged 3.51%.
Shares of conglomerate Softbank Group soared 3.88% after the company’s Founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told the Nikkei in an interviewthat he expects initial public offerings of portfolio companies in its Vision Fund “almost every month” by around next year.
Son also said Monday that Softbank will invest $2 billion in Southeast Asian ride hailing giant Grab, according to a Reuters report.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, on the other hand, rose 0.48% to close at 6,825.80.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.54% lower.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s DBS Group on Monday, ahead of the market open, posted a 17% increase in second-quarter profit, which came in at $1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) versus $1.37 billion a year earlier, beating estimates. The stock was 0.82% lower in afternoon trade.
U.S.-China trade talks are also set to resume this week, with a trade delegation from Washington scheduled to fly to China on Monday. Expectations for a major breakthrough are low, however, with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow telling CNBC last Friday that he “wouldn’t expect any grand deal. ”