SMIC shares in Hong Kong plunge following reports of U.S. sanctions; Asia-Pacific markets edge higher

SINGAPORE — Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese chipmaker SMIC plunged in Monday morning trade following reports that the U.S. has imposed restrictions on exports to the firm due to risks of military use.

In early trade on Monday, shares of SMIC listed in the city dropped more than 6%. The Hang Seng index rose 0.28%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher, with the Shanghai composite up about 0.3% while the Shenzhen component added 0.3%.

China’s industrial profits rose 19.1% in August, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced over the weekend. Chinese economic data has been watched by investors for signs of the country’s continued recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.64% while the Topix index gained 0.71%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.95%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was below the flatline.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.4% higher.

Meanwhile, the situation surrounding the pandemic elsewhere could also weigh on investor sentiment. Europe is now facing the prospect of a double-dip recession as it grapples with a coronavirus second wave. Over in the U.S., new daily coronavirus cases topped 1,000 in New York state on Saturday — the first time new infections in the state passed the 1,000 mark since early June.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.573 after rising from levels below 93.0 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.43 per dollar following a weakening last week from levels below 105 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.705 after sliding from levels above $0.72 last week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down about 0.3% to $41.79 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.52% to $40.04 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.

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