Asian shares finished lower Monday as trade resumed after the G-20 meeting in Shanghai over the weekend.
Shanghai’s SSE slumped 2.9 percent to end at 2,688 after losing as much as 4 percent earlier in the session. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 1 percent to end at 16,027 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.3 percent to close at 19,111.
As reported, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said Friday that a major depreciation of the yuan is unnecessary for the foreseeable future and sought to dampen fears of a currency war, stating that China “won’t use competitive devaluation to boost exports.” That announcement came just ahead of the G-20, which centered on issues such as Brexit, the refugee crisis and Japan’s economy and monetary policy.
Fast Retailing fell 0.6 percent to end at 31,340 yen while Isetan Mitsukoshi slumped 2.5 percent to finish at 1,312 yen. Chow Tai Fook bucked the negative trend to gain 3.1 percent to end at 4.64 Hong Kong dollars. Esprit also fared well, rising 1.5 percent to finish at 6.95 Hong Kong dollars.
Meanwhile, local media in Shanghai reported that the housing market was “unusually fervent” over the weekend, with pictures of long queues outside a real estate trading center as homebuyers eagerly waited to file paperwork for new properties. The Ministry of Finance’s new policy to cut deed and business taxes for home purchases in most cities went into effect on Feb. 22. Some press reports indicated that investors might transfer some of their money to real estate from the stock market.
This policy came hot on the heels of the central bank raising the deposit interest rate for its housing provident fund earlier in the month, giving subscribers to the saving program a higher rate of interest on their savings for deposits on home purchases. The government has also previously lowered bank interest rates and cut down payments for first-time homebuyers in an apparent move to decrease the housing glut, according to local media.