Asia Markets: Chinese stocks drop on falling commodity prices

Commodities took center stage in Asia Friday, with a slump in Chinese metals prices and weakness in crude oil sending equity markets across the region lower.

A drop in oil around midday in Asia—with prices tumbling 3% from Thursday’s settlement in New York—spooked investors, while trading sentiment was already weak amid fears that Beijing’s crackdown on speculation and borrowing could hurt metals demand.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.78% fell 0.9%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.84% extended losses to 0.8%, and the Hang Seng subindex that tracks Chinese shares also widened losses, to a 1.9% decline.

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