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Alibaba shares plunge as much as 8% for second straight session as China ramps up pressure

SINGAPORE — Shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba in Hong Kong were in the spotlight once again on Monday, after Chinese regulators ordered Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group to rectify its businesses.

In afternoon trading, shares of Alibaba listed in Hong Kong plunged 7.71%, adding to losses for the firm. The stock had also dived last Thursday following reports that Chinese regulators will probe the tech behemoth for suspected monopolistic behavior.

Shares of other Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech firms also declined: Tencent fell 4.77% while Meituan slipped 5.52%. China’s largest chipmaker SMIC also saw its stock in Hong Kong drop 4.41%.

The broader Hang Seng Tech index shed 3.93%.

Asia markets mixed

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Monday as the final trading week of 2020 kicked off.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.74% to close at 26,854.03 while the Topix index advanced 0.54% to finish its trading day at 1,788.04. South Korea’s Kospi closed fractionally higher at 2,808.60.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed: the Shanghai composite dipped slightly while the Shenzhen component gained 0.137%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.19%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.21%.

Profits at Chinese industrial firms in November rose 15.5% as compared with a year earlier, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics over the weekend.

Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.111 after declining from levels above 90.4 in recent days.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.46 per dollar after seeing levels below 103.4 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7619 after recovering from a plunge to levels below $0.75 last week.

Oil prices dipped in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.51% to $51.03 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also declined 0.39% to $48.04 per barrel.

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