Asian stocks retreated on Friday as the month came to an end, with declines in Hong Kong weighing on the region.
Shares slipped across the region, with Hong Kong and Seoul seeing the biggest declines.
Investors continued to wait for progress on a US-China trade deal, with the next batch of US tariffs on Chinese goods due to begin Dec. 15.
China on Thursday said it will retaliate against a US bill in support of Hong Kong protesters, though stopped short of offering any details.
“Markets are on a sort of ‘wait and hold’ in terms of that ‘phase one’ trade deal,” BlueBay Asset Management LLC chief investment strategist David Riley told Bloomberg TV. “If there is a skinny deal, that will allow markets and risk assets to grind higher even if there is no real prospect of a phase two or subsequent detailed negotiation occurring this side of US presidential elections.”
The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index fell 1 percent to 163.75, little changed for the week.
Taiwanese shares fell 127.51 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 11,489.57 on Friday, down 0.7 percent for the week.
Hong Kong stocks ended the week lower, dampened by renewed doubts over the prospects of a trade deal and on signs of economic damage from persistent anti-government protests.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) ended down 2 percent at 26,346.49 on Friday, while the China Enterprises Index (HSCE) lost 2.5 percent to 10,301.82.
For the week, the HSI fell 0.9 percent, while HSCE slid 1.9 percent.
The main concern is still the trade deal,” said Alex Wong (黃國英), a director at Ample Finance Group (豐盛金融) in Hong Kong.”We are in thin trading, so as we break out on the downside some people will chase [the sell-off],” he added.
Market participants were also worried about signs of more economic damage as the territory geared up for weekend protests.
Hong Kong braced for a fresh wave of protests as police on Friday withdrew from a university campus that was the site of some of the worst clashes between protesters and security forces in nearly six months of unrest.
Indian stocks fell, retreating from a third record-high close this week.
The S&P BSE SENSEX declined 0.8 percent to 40,793.81 at the close in Mumbai. The measure marked a third straight month of gains, the longest such streak since May last year.
The NSE NIFTY 50 also lost 0.8 percent on Friday, but rose 1.2 percent for the week.
Japan’s TOPIX fell 0.5 percent on Friday, but gained 0.5 percent for the week.
South Korea’s KOSPI slid 1.5 percent on Friday, bringing its weekly loss to 0.6 percent.
The Philippine Stock Exchange fell 0.4 percent to 7,738.96, down 1 percent for the week.
Additional reporting by CNA, with staff writer
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