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Chinese stocks plunge on property sector concerns, COVID-19 outbreaks

China's Andon Health delivers COVID-19 testing to US at home

SHANGHAI, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Chinese stocks fell on Friday as real estate woes continued to weigh on investor sentiment, while recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country raised concerns about its effect on the economy.

** The CSI300 Index (.CSI300) fell 0.6% to 4,737.93 points at the end of the morning session, as the Shanghai Composite Index (.ssec) lost 0.6% to 3,534.17 points.

** The Hang Seng Index (.HSI) fell 1.0% to 24,179.16 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index (.HSCE) lost 1.5% to 8,475.36.

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** This week, the CSI300 index fell 1.8%; the Hang Seng index is expected to rise the most in 12 weeks, up 2.9% from the midday break.

** China’s exports and imports grew more slowly in December, but exports came in just above expectations on the back of continued solid global demand. read more

** As the country grapples with the latest local COVID-19 outbreaks, Shanghai’s eastern financial center has suspended some tourism activities. The tourism subindex (.CSI930633) decreased by 1.8%. read more

** “Recent flare-ups of COVID in a few major cities are increasing pressure on an already slowing economy,” HSBC said in a note.

** “We now expect the central bank to step up stimulus by cutting 10 basis points in key policy rates, most likely on medium-term debt (MLF), which is most relevant to the real economy,” added HSBC to.

**Real Estate Developers (.CSI000952) fell for the fourth straight session, as more cash-strapped developers scrambled to avoid defaults or raise funds. read more

** Investment Banks and Brokers (.CSI3999975) fell 1.6%, with CITIC Securities (600030.SS) down 2.7% following a share placement plan.

** Energy supplies (.CSIEN) lost 2.4%, with miners (.CSI000820) 3% down.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Tech Index (.HSTECH) fell 1.8%, with Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Meituan (3690.HK) down 3.8% and 4.2% respectively, followed by Wall Street’s losses following aggressive comments from the US Federal Reserve. read more

** China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) added 1.2% as it received critical approval from onshore bondholders to defer payments on one of its bonds.

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Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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