Most of the major Asian indicators point to a decline of 2.4%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia and the Nikkei 225 in Japan experienced smaller losses than the rest: 0.42% and 0.56%, respectively. Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite in China both experienced 0.92 and 1.4% declines, respectively. The South Korean KOSPI showed a decline of 1.18 percent, which is about equal to that. The largest decline, 2.4%, was experienced by Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index.
The persistent rise in coronavirus cases in the nation was the main factor contributing to the unfavorable investor sentiment. Almost daily, new records are set in various categories. As a result, nearly 40.000 new cases of infection were reported each day on Saturday.
The Chinese government adopted the "zero tolerance" policy almost immediately after the pandemic began, which means they followed the strictest guidelines to stop COVID-19 from spreading throughout the nation. Restrictive and quarantine measures were implemented in China during each new outbreak. Last week, restrictions in some major cities were again tightened, and daily resident testing was implemented.
With the number of restrictions rising, protests and rallies against these policies were held simultaneously in several cities, with the participation of several hundred people. To disperse the protests, the police used gas canisters.
China's central bank regulator declared at the end of last week that banks' reserve rates would be decreased starting on December 5 by 0.25 points. This choice should increase bank liquidity and release about 500 billion yuan from the nation's financial system.
For the biggest banks, the reserve requirement rate will be lowered to 11%. For the previous 15 years, this has been the bare minimum. It will be at a level of 7.8% on average for the sector. The NBK is taking these steps to support the national economy and preserve the required level of liquidity.
Shares of Country Garden Holdings dropped in value by 5.8% on the Hong Kong stock exchange, followed by Longfor Group Holdings and Pung An Insurance, losing 5% each. JD.com fell 4.7%, China Merchants Bank fell 4.3%, and Hang Seng Bank and China Life Insurance fell 4% and 3.9%, respectively.
Other businesses' securities are also increasing simultaneously: China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co., Budweiser Brewing Co., APAC, and Haidilao International Holding, Ltd., gained 4.6%, 2.1%, and 1.5%, respectively.
The Japanese Nikkei 225's constituents with the largest value declines were CyberAgent, Inc., which dropped 7.6%, and Nippon Steel, Corp., which dropped 3.5%. JFE Holdings and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. were each down 2.8%.
Toyota Motor shares, which fell by 0.9%, Nintendo shares, which fell by 0.8%, and SoftBank Group shares, which fell by 0.6%, all showed a slightly smaller decline in quotes.
The dynamics of the Korean KOSPI's components vary widely: shares of Samsung Electronics fell 1.6% in value while those of Hyundai Motor rose 1.5%.
According to preliminary data, retail sales in Australia last month fell by 0.2% from their level in September. Such data deviated from experts' projections, who thought this indicator would rise by 0.5%. The index began declining for the first time in the previous year.
The largest companies' stock prices have decreased among the Australian S&P/ASX 200's constituents: Rio Tinto shares and BHP shares both fell by 1.4% and 0.7%, respectively.