China markets

China’s exports declined 3.5 per cent in March compared with March 2019, while imports rose 2.4 per cent. Economists had predicted a 12.8 per cent decline in exports and a 7 per cent fall in imports, according to Bloomberg.

“China and Hong Kong equity markets were perhaps lucky to have fallen only this far,” said Brock Silvers, managing director of Adamas Asset Management in Hong Kong.

China social media and gaming giant Tencent finished down 0.3 per cent at HK$319 -- below HK$320, which has been a key resistance level for it this year

Shanghai Composite starts the new month with a 0.8 per cent loss, pushed down by consumption and financial stocks. The Hang Seng ends down for second straight day. 

Pharmaceutical stocks jump in Hong Kong after a media report saying the nationwide expansion of a programme to try to keep a lid on drug prices will be more moderate than the industry feared.

Promising morning rallies in Hong Kong, Shanghai benchmarks lose steam as day wears on. In Shanghai, traders are still worried the coming hot tech board is siphoning off money and will hurt share prices in the broader market. 

Bank stocks tumble after news report that they are in possible breach of US sanctions against North Korea. The three Chinese banks spotlighted denied the allegations.

Local markets like what they heard from the US Federal Reserve. Overnight, its chairman sent signals it is open to cutting its key rate, if needed.