Headline indices of the Hong Kong stock market finished session lower on Monday, 23 March 2020, joining a global sell-off, with investors spooked by the rising fears of a global recession amidst worldwide lockdowns and travel curbs to counter the coronavirus pandemic. All 50 stocks on the benchmark declined, lead by utilities and properties.
At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index tumbled 4.86%, or 1,108.94 points, to 21,696.13. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index sank 4.02%, or 366.91 points, to 8,751.76.
The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 4.4%, the IT sector fell 4.4%, the financial sector ended 4.4% lower and the property sector declined 6.1%.
The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Ltd, which climbed 1.3%, while the biggest loser was Techtronic Industries Co, which fell 13%.
Uncertainty linked to the worldwide lockdowns and travel curbs to counter the coronavirus pandemic stoked fears of a global recession and how damaging this could be for the global economy continues to keep markets on edge.
The global coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the world, with the number of infected now over 294,000 and more than 12,900 lives taken, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Fears have intensified that a major recession is about to hit the global economy, and governments are unleashing unprecedented stimulus measures to prevent widespread economic collapse. A trillion-dollar proposal in the US Senate to rescue the reeling American economy crashed on Sunday after it did not receive any support from the minority Democrats and with five Republicans absent because of coronavirus quarantines.
The bill proposed up to $2 trillion in funding for American families, thousands of shuttered or suffering businesses and the nation's critically under-equipped hospitals.
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