Asian shares fall as China markets return from break

Investing.com – Asian shares were mostly weaker on Friday with China coming back from a week-long break to lower levels.

China’s Shanghai composite fell 0.59% after initially opening flat, while the Shenzhen composite was down 0.43%. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was down 0.62%. The Nikkei 225 broke the trend and rose 0.14% and the S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.39%.

The week-long holiday was not without controversy. Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua was abducted from Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel last week by Chinese agents. Xiao had reportedly helped China’s richest families and leaders to move money around, the Financial Times said.

Companies directly or indirectly controlled by the Chinese billionaire’s conglomerate Tomorrow Group saw their shares plummet amid uncertainty over Xiao’s fate on Friday, Reuters said.

Baotou Huazi plunged 10 percent, the daily downward limit on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, while Baotou Tomorrow Technology dropped 5.04% and Xishui Strong Year Inner Mongolia tumbled 10%.

Shares of Virgin Australia were down 2.33%t on Friday. Tigerair Australia, a subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings, said would permanently quit flights to Bali, after Indonesian authorities switched to a new operating model, Reuters reported.

Last month, Indonesia had revoked Tigerair Australia’s permission to fly, saying it did not meet charter flight regulations. Qantas Airway stock was also in the red, down 2.27%.

Overnight, the Dow trended weaker at the U.S. close with sentiment mixed as the longer-term promise of tax cuts and higher federal spending is offset by political risk concerns.

A series of diplomatic snafus by the Trump administration are worrying some in the market.

The Dow Jones eased 0.04%, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.02% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.15%.

In company news, Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) beat Wall Street expectations, showing revenue rose 9.1% in the latest quarter and Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) delivered disappointing quarterly results and announced the chief executive will step down after less than two years at the helm of the company.

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