In Monday morning trade, shares of Standard Chartered tumbled 2.82% and HSBC fell 3.55%. The moves came after the banks — among several global lenders — were identified in reports as having allegedly moved illicit funds over a period of nearly two decades, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.57%.
Mainland Chinese stocks also dipped in early trade, with the Shanghai composite down about 0.1% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.116%. China’s one-year and five-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) on Monday were kept unchanged at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.07% lower.
Markets in Japan are closed on Monday for a holiday.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.849 after last week’s decline from levels above 93.3.
The Japanese yen traded at 104.38 per dollar after strengthening in the previous trading week from levels above 105.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7304 after trading last week between levels above $0.732 and below $0.729.
Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down slightly to $43.13 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were below the flatline at $41.10 per barrel.