2/24, 7:35 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Asian markets down with HK set to raise stock trading tax

Major stock exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region traded lower on Wednesday after Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Financial Secretary Paul Chan released details of the local government's budget for the upcoming fiscal year, announcing that the city will raise the stamp duty on stock trading, seemingly impacting the market sentiment. In addition, the city will spend HK$120 billion ($15.5 billion) to stimulate the economy troubled by recession for the previous two years, with the current fiscal year's deficit standing at a record-high HK$257.6 billion ($33.2 billion).

The Nikkei 225 index declined by 1.61% at the end of the trading session. The Shanghai Composite lost 2.44% at 7:19 am CET and the Shenzhen Composite Index was 2.79% down at 7:32 am CET, while the Hang Seng dropped by 2.91% at the same time. The Kospi closed 2.45% lower. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia decreased 0.90% at the closing bell.

The dollar was 0.22% up compared to the yen, going for 105.5110 at 7:35 am CET.

Breaking the News / MS