Hong Kong stocks slide for fifth day as China faces near-record Covid-19 cases in blow to policy-pivot market bulls
- Covid-19 cases on Monday approached their highest daily tally on record in mainland China in a blow to market bulls betting on an imminent reopening of the economy
- Stocks reported fifth day of losses, their longest losing run in a month
The Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 per cent to 17,424.41 at the close, completing a 5 per cent slide over the five-day streak. The five-day loss is the longest such streak in almost a month. The Hang Seng Tech Index dropped 3.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent.
China reported 27,307 new daily infections on Monday, near the record 29,317 cases recorded amid the Shanghai outbreak on April 13, according to health authorities. That has undermined recent China reopening bets, triggering a 3.6 per cent sell-off in Chinese stocks in New York overnight, the most in about a week.
“China’s reopening will be laced with fits and starts,” said Stephen Innes, a managing partner at SPI Asset Management in Bangkok. “Bears also fear a prolonged property downturn and an inability to kick start growth as in the past, given debt levels.”
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is the epicentre of the flare-up with 8,210 new infections on Monday, while the southwest metropolis of Chongqing logged 6,297 infections. Nomura estimated that 48 cities are subject to movement curbs, affecting about a fifth of China’s economy.
Guangdong Dtech Technology, which makes industrial machinery, jumped 48 per cent to 33.78 yuan on its Shenzhen debut, while interior designer Matrix Design lost 2.1 per cent to 33.99 yuan.
Other major Asian markets were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 both climbed 0.6 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi Index retreated 0.6 per cent.
Additional reporting by Jiaxing Li