HK, China stocks drop on deepening fears of Beijing's regulations

Finance | 20 Aug 2021 1:56 pm

Hong Kong stocks dropped over 2% to hit a more than nine-month low on Friday, while China shares also fell sharply on deepening concerns over the economic slowdown and Beijing’s regulatory tightening.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 2.3% to 24,739.60 by lunch break, after hitting its lowest level since Nov. 2 at 24,581.6. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 2.3% to 8,707.00.

China’s bluechip CSI300 index fell 2.4% to 4,745.23, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.7% to 3,408.15.

China’s regulatory crackdowns continue to haunt investors, who are already worried about a slowing economy.

Hang Seng is on course for its worst week since the height of pandemic in March, 2020.

The Hang Seng Tech Index plunged 3.6%, a fresh low since the index’s inception.

Chinese internet companies should innovate, assume social responsibilities and promote social values, according to a state media article on Friday.

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group declined 2.2% to HK$ 158.6, hitting the lowest since its Hong Kong debut.

Food-delivery giant Meituan tumbled 7.1% to a one-year low, while gaming and social-media giant Tencent edged down 0.1% to touch a 14-month low.

Healthcare players plunged too, with the sector’s sub-index down 8.6%.

Alibaba Healthcare Information Technology and Wuxi Biologics plummeted 13.4% and 10.4%, respectively.

China’s liquor stocks slumped 5.8%, after state media reported that the country’s State Administration for Market Regulation is holding a meeting during the day to discuss regulations over the liquor market.

The healthcare index plunged 5%, amid growing concerns that the sector will also be in the regulatory crosshairs.

Bucking the trend, China Telecom Corp surged 19 in a strong debut, following its $7.3 billion fundraising via public offering, the world’s biggest in 2021. -- Reuters

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