Asian stocks sink as Turkey fears hurt emerging markets

A man walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Asian stock prices sank Monday as Turkey’s financial turmoil fueled fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A woman walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Asian stock prices sank Monday as Turkey’s financial turmoil fueled fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A woman walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Asian stock prices sank Monday as Turkey’s financial turmoil fueled fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BEIJING — Asian stock prices sank Monday as Turkey's financial turmoil fueled fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.7 percent to 2,746.90 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 retreated 1.9 percent to 21,885.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.8 percent to 27,850.55 and Seoul's Kospi retreated 1.6 percent to 2,249.65. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.5 percent to 6,246.80. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur also fell.

WALL STREET: Stock prices slid as investors responded to Turkey jitters by settling equities and buying government bonds. The dollar strengthened while major exporters including technology, basic materials and industrial companies sank. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slide 0.7 percent to 2,833.28, ending a five-week winning streak. The Nasdaq composite broke an eight-day rising trend and sank 0.7 percent to 7,839.11.

TURKISH TURMOIL: Investors are uneasy over whether Turkey's government can cope with a plunging currency, a diplomatic spat with Washington and other problems. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accumulated more and more control over Turkey's financial system and central bank. U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he will authorize higher tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. That came after Turkey put an American pastor on trial on spying charges. Erdogan promised Sunday his government will take unspecified "necessary actions" to calm markets.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Turkey's financial crisis has taken center stage, displacing trade wars as the immediate concern," said Eugene Leow of DBS Group in a report. Worries are building that "this may lead to contagion" across emerging markets, said Leow. "We fail to see how the crisis can be resolved without external support," but an International Monetary Fund support package will be difficult "given Turkey's current political situation."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 5 cents to $67.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed at $67.63 on Friday. Brent crude lost 18 cents to $72.65 in London. It closed at $72.83 the previous session.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 110.24 yen from Friday's 110.93. The euro fell to $1.1385 from $1.1411.

Must Read

Hong Kong election highlights rising anti-China mood

Sep 4, 2016

Polls opened in Hong Kong Sunday for the specially administered Chinese city's most crucial...

New wave of anti-China activists set for Hong Kong vote win

Sep 5, 2016

A new wave of anti-China activists appeared headed for victory in Hong Kong's most crucial...

Hong Kong pro-democracy candidates retain veto in key vote

Sep 5, 2016

A group of young Hong Kong pro-democracy activists has pulled off a stunning election victory,...

China imports grow in August for 1st time in 2 years

Sep 8, 2016

China trade showed unexpected strength in August in a positive sign for global economic growth

US tycoon's China scholarship project opens doors in Beijing

Sep 10, 2016

A new scholarship program intended to rival the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships and build...