Stocks got a downbeat start to the week as investors kept a wary eye on tensions with Iran and on signals from China and the U.S. on prospects for a resolution of their tariffs war.
The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.98% index skidded 1.4% to 2,965.03 on Monday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.81% fell 0.7% to 26,241.10 after yet another weekend of violent protests. The Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.91% was down 1.4%.
Fosun Tourism Group 656, -1.53% , the biggest shareholder in Thomas Cook TCG, +0.00% TCG, +0.00% , fell 3.8% in Hong Kong after the 178-year-old British tour company filed for bankruptcy. Bookings for more than 600,000 global vacationers were canceled Monday as a result. Shanghai-based Fosun International dropped 1%.
Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook’s four airlines would be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will lose their jobs.
In South Korea, the Kospi 180721, +0.01% edged 0.1% lower to 2,091.98, while the S&P ASX 200 XJO, +0.28% in Sydney advanced 0.3% to 6,752.40. Shares fell in Taiwan Y9999, -0.10% and in Southeast Asia.
India’s Sensex 1, +3.08% continued a rally that began Friday with an announcement of fresh tax incentives for businesses. It climbed 3.2% to 39,244.61. Tokyo’s markets were closed for a holiday.
Wall Street ended last week with losses, snapping a 3-week winning streak for the S&P 500 SPX, -0.49% after reports emerged that Chinese officials canceled a planned trip to farms in Montana and Nebraska.
That sparked concern that trade talks due to resume next month might be in trouble after U.S. and Chinese envoys met last week for preliminary discussions to lay the groundwork for later, more formal negotiations.
President Donald Trump’s remarks to reporters Friday that he wants a complete deal with China and won’t accept one that only addresses some differences between the two nations added to the unease.
However, officials said the talks would go ahead next month, somewhat alleviating that concern.
The S&P 500 SPX, -0.49% fell 0.5% to 2,992.07 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.59% dropped 0.6%, to 26,935.07.
The Nasdaq COMP, -0.80% lost 0.8% to 8,117.67, weighed down by declining technology sector stocks. The Russell 2000 index RUT, -0.11% of smaller company stocks slid 0.1% to 1,559.76.
Oil prices rose after Trump, arriving in New York for the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, said he intended to seek support for a coalition to confront Iran after the U.S. blamed it for last week’s strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility.
Iran’s president on Sunday urged Western powers to leave the security of the Persian Gulf to regional nations led by Tehran. He criticized a new U.S.-led coalition patrolling the region’s waterways as nationwide parades showcased the Islamic Republic’s military arsenal.
Hassan Rouhani also promised to propose a regional peace plan at this week’s UN meetings.
The U.S. alleges Iran carried out the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Aramco’s largest oil processor, which caused oil prices to spike by the biggest percentage since the 1991 Gulf War. While Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels claimed the assault, Saudi Arabia says it was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”
For its part, Iran denies being responsible and has warned any retaliatory attack targeting it will result in an “all-out war.” Meanwhile, it could take months, not weeks to repair damaged Saudi Aramco facilities, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Saudi officials and oil contractors.
With all that percolating, U.S. crude oil CLX19, +0.38% added 61 cents to $58.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it lost 10 cents to $58.09 a barrel.
Brent crude UK:BRNV19 , the international standard, picked up 77 cents to $65.06 per barrel.
In currency trading, the dollar USDJPY, -0.14% was at 107.71 Japanese yen, up from 107.55 yen on Friday. The euro EURUSD, -0.3994% strengthened to $1.1024 from $1.1020.