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Hang Seng Index hits two-week low amid China's economic concerns

Published Nov 27, 2023 10:34
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HONG KONG - Hong Kong's leading stock index, the Hang Seng, plunged to a two-week low early today, reflecting widespread investor concerns over China's economic health. Banking giants like ICBC and Construction Bank experienced declines in their share prices, trading at HK$3.74 and HK$4.51 respectively. This drop was driven by worries about asset quality and the possibility of new lending measures aimed at supporting the property sector.

The technology sector also felt the pressure, with significant players such as Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Tencent (HK:0700), and Meituan seeing their stock values fall to HK$75.65, HK$320, and HK$108.60 respectively. The negative market sentiment extended to BYD Co (SZ:002594)., a major name in the electric vehicle market, whose shares dipped nearly 4% following the company's announcement of price cuts on some models by up to 10,000 yuan to remain competitive.

Adding to the grim outlook was the official data indicating that industrial profits in China grew by a mere 2.7% in October year-on-year – the slowest pace in three months and a stark contrast to September's 11.9% increase. With the manufacturing sector expected to contract in November as well, financial institutions including Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) are calling for more aggressive stimulus measures to prevent a prolonged economic slump.

As today's trading closed, the Hang Seng Index had registered a slight loss of 0.2%, ending at 17,525.06. This downturn was part of a broader regional decline, with Japan's Nikkei Index also falling by 0.5% to finish at 33,447.67.

Market analysts are projecting that China's economic momentum may extend into 2024, anticipating further actions from the People's Bank of China (PBoC) such as facilitating bond issuances and providing strategic liquidity injections. In a move towards market stabilization, the Beijing Stock Exchange has restricted major shareholder sales.

Sector-wise, real estate stocks took a hit after a speculative surge, while semiconductor companies trended upward ahead of President Xi’s technology-focused visits in Shanghai. Pharmaceutical stocks climbed amidst increasing reports of respiratory illnesses, and Huawei's automotive initiatives had a positive influence on related stock values.

Despite these fluctuations, transactions through the Northbound HK-China Stock Connect indicated only a minor net buying trend of CNY334 million, which had limited impact on mainland shares.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

Hang Seng Index hits two-week low amid China's economic concerns
 

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