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  • The Hong Kong stock market finished session deep in the red on Monday, 29 June 2020, in line with a sell-off across Asia following a steep drop on Wall Street on Friday, as the relentless spread of the number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases across the globe curbed optimism on the global economy, prompting investors to take shelter in safe-haven assets.

    At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 1.01%, or 248.71 points, to 24,301.28. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped 0.97%, or 95.49 points, to 9,757.69.

    Investors risk sentiments dampened as the global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 500,000 on Sunday, with the number of infections crosses 10 million since the outbreak late last year. China on Sunday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in Anxin county about 140km south of Beijing to contain the cluster, with one city official saying the situation was “severe and complicated.” In Victoria, Australia, citizens faced renewed lockdown fears as new hotspots emerged. In the U.S., coronavirus cases recently surged by more than 45,000 in a day, according to John Hopkins University data. The recent spike in cases stateside has led some states such as Texas and Florida to re-close some businesses.

    Chinas central bank said on Sunday the countrys economic growth faces challenges from the pandemic despite signs of improvement amid business re-openings.

    Only seven out of 50 index components eked out gains. Consumer discretionary and information technology stocks led the pullback in Hong Kong, while Chinese stock brokerages suffered a sell-off on reports the government will give new licenses to local banks to compete with them.

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