The Hong Kong stock market dropped sharply on Thursday after index heavyweight Alibaba came under pressure following reports that Washington is planning to add its fin-tech arm, Ant Group, to its trade blacklist.
The Hang Seng Index sagged throughout the day and lost more than 300 points by noon. The slump continued in the afternoon, with the index closing more than 2 percent lower, at 24,158. Market Turnover was HK$130 billion.
Alibaba ended the day at HK$284.80, a drop of more than 4 percent.
But, bucking the downward trend, shares of Cathay Pacific surged over 6 percent, after the SAR government announced that Hong Kong has reached an agreement for a travel bubble with Singapore.
Markets across the border also retreated, erasing previous gains after newly released data showed weak consumer inflation on the mainland last month.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost around 0.3 percent and the blue-chip CSI-300 index shed around 0.2 percent.
Shares of industrial firms weighed on the broader index, after the mainland announced a drop in its factory gate prices.
Most other regional markets ended in the red tracking a fall seen on Wall Street overnight.
Seoul shed 0.8 percent – reporting losses for a third consecutive session. Singapore lost more than 1 percent. Taipei inched down 0.7 percent and Tokyo dipped half a percent.
The markets were weighed down by investors' concerns about the potential re-imposition of virus lockdowns around the world, as well as dimming hopes that US leaders can agree on a new economic stimulus package before the country's presidential election.
In the commodities market, oil prices fell as a resurgence in Covid-19 infections around the world highlighted concerns over economic growth and a recovery in fuel demand.