Chinese stocks fell early Thursday on concerns about new regulations, while trading elsewhere in Asia was largely muted.

The Shenzhen Composite 399106, -1.51%   fell 0.9% and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.94%   slipped 0.5% after Beijing took steps to halt the proliferation of small online lenders. Declines in Chinese shares in early trading recently have often been short-lived; the Shanghai Composite has finished higher every day this week.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks HSI, +0.07%   rose another 0.5% after the Hang Seng on Wednesday closed above 30,000 for the first time in a decade. Tencent 0700, +0.37%   and big banks and insurers, which have risen sharply this month, helped lead Thursday’s gains.

Shane Chanel, an equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers, said he is on watch for profit-taking after the recent gains in many Asian stock markets. He cautioned that markets could take a hit if U.S. tax-overhaul efforts are derailed.

“Any hiccups to the implementation of Trump’s tax reforms…will mean the Grinch will be visiting us this Christmas,” he said.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.00%   was recently off session lows to trade down 0.1%. A roughly 0.5% decline in the country’s major banks more than offset the gains in commodity stocks, which got a boost from the U.S. dollar having its worst session in eight months on Wednesday.

Oil futures were down nearly 0.25% in Asian trading.

Elsewhere, New Zealand’s stock index NZ50GR, -0.04%   was struggling to move back into positive territory as morning gains were lost midday, while Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.01%   was largely flat. Tourist-related stocks like Lotte Tour 032350, +1.10%   and Amorepacific 090430, +1.30%   erased this week’s declines as investors continued to assess the impact of fresh sanctions against North Korea.

The Japanese stock market was closed Thursday for a holiday. When trading resumes Friday, it is unlikely to be quiet unless the yen reverses its overnight gains. It hit a two-month high against the dollar JPYUSD, -0.079960%   and is around ¥111.20. A stronger yen often weighs on Japanese stocks.

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November 23, 2017