ASIAN shares extended losses for the second day on Tuesday amid concerns about second coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in Europe.
Fears of another lockdown across Europe appears to have knocked investor sentiment this morning. Hong Kong shares of HSBC 0005.HK and Standard Chartered 2888.HK fell more than 2 percent each. Global banking stocks have remained under intense pressure following reports about financial institutions allegedly moving illicit funds.
British lenders HSBC and StanChart were among global lenders named as having transferred more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over nearly two decades.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.5 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO dropped 0.7 percent pressured by miners and energy stocks, while China’s blue-chip index .CSI300 shed 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI was down 0.5 percent Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
“We can’t see any positive news on the horizon in the near-term for the markets to rebound,” said Steven Leung, executive director for institutional sales at Hong Kong brokerage UOB Kay Hian.
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7.20am update: Premier Inn owner warns of 6,000 job losses
Premier Inn owner Whitbread has warned it could axe up to 6,000 jobs as the coronavirus crisis continues to hit demand for hotel stays.
Whitbread, which aslo owns the Brewers Fayre chain of restaurants, made the announcement this morning.
The company said staff consultation will begin shortly. They said they hoped to make the majority of job losses voluntary.
More to follow…