September 11, 2018

Hong Kong bear market and other news to know before the Opening Bell

1. Bears in Hong Kong: Hong Kong's stock market is crumbling on mounting fears of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and concerns about slowing economic growth in China.

A decline in China's currency, the yuan, has made it more expensive for Chinese investors to buy Hong Kong stocks because they are priced in the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar. Fears about the stability of emerging markets are adding to the overall nervousness.

The Hang Seng index fell into a bear market on Tuesday, closing 0.7% lower for the day to stand more than 20% below its recent peak in January. There's been a bear market in stocks in mainland China since late June.

President Donald Trump said Friday he's prepared to impose another huge wave of tariffs on $267 billion of Chinese products.

On top of tariffs already in place or in the works, such a move would apply new taxes to the entire $505 billion of goods the United States imported from China last year.

2. Chip deal: Japan's Renesas Electronics Corp is buying American chip maker Integrated Device Technology Inc for $6.7 billion.

Renesas Electronics said the acquisition will strengthen its position in the automotive market, adding that it expected to see "tremendous growth with autonomous driving."

Shares in Renesas surged 4.5%.

3. Alibaba's Russia deal: Alibaba wants to help Russia go big in online shopping. The Chinese e-commerce giant announced a new joint venture with Russian telecoms company MegaFon, internet group Mail.Ru and Russia's sovereign wealth fund.

The joint venture, AliExpress Russia, will integrate Russia's key consumer internet and e-commerce platforms to "become a leading social commerce joint venture in Russia," the companies said.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were mixed early on Tuesday.

European markets were struggling to find direction. Asian markets ended the session mixed. Japanese Nikkei closed 1.3% higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.2% lower on Monday. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Nasdaq closed flat.

5. Companies and economics: Shares in Tencent dropped 1.8% in Hong Kong on Tuesday. The Chinese tech company said Monday it was shutting down its popular "Texas Everyday Hold'em" game.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday the company will reduce the number of car colors on offer to five from seven to "simplify manufacturing." Tesla is scrambling to ramp up Model 3 production fast enough to turn a profit — and use that money for looming debt payments.

Latest data in the United Kingdom showed the unemployment rate was 4% in the three months to July, the lowest in more than four decades.

6. Coming this week: Tuesday — UK reports its unemployment rate Wednesday — Brookings Institution hosts a panel on the financial crisis, Apple announces its new products Thursday — Kroger reports earnings, US consumer inflation report, European and UK central banks report interest rate decisions Friday — US retail sales and consumer sentiment reports

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