China stock market

Over 100 companies fell by the 10 per cent daily limit as China tech stocks rocked by news US urging allies to blacklist Huawei

  • Shenzhen Composite falls 3.3 per cent; Shanghai Composite drops 2.5 per cent; Hang Seng Index down 0.g per cent
PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 November, 2018, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 7:22pm

More than 100 Chinese companies dropped by the maximum 10 per cent daily limit on Friday, as the country’s technology stocks were rocked by news that the US government is trying to persuade allies around the world to stop using telecommunications equipment from Chinese tech giant Huawei.

On the tech-heavy Shenzhen exchange, the Component Index and the Composite Index slid 3.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively, to close at 7,636.70 and 1,335.15. The start-up board index, the ChiNext, lost 3.3 per cent to 1,308.74.

On the Shanghai exchange, where state-owned firms dominate, the country’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.5 per cent to end at 2,579.48, marking the steepest percentage loss in a month.

More than 4,000 stocks dropped on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, 95 per cent of the total pool.

More than 100 stocks were halted from trading as they had fallen by the maximum-allowed 10 per cent. Many of them were in the hi-tech industry, such as Shanghai Shibei Hi-Tech, Changzhou NRB Corp, and Shandong Luxin High-Tech Industry.

The sharp drop in tech stocks came after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US government has initiated an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to key allies around the world, trying to persuade them not to use telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies because of security concerns. Those countries include Germany, Italy and Japan, where Huawei equipment is already in wide use.

“There is a lot of negative news about the US criticising China before Trump and Xi meet next week, and that has dented sentiment,” said Alvin Cheung, associate director for Prudential Brokerage.

The US has sent mixed messages about the trade war, he added. President Trump told journalists recently he is prepared for the meeting with his Chinese counterpart and suggested a deal could be reached to end the trade war. But Kevin Hassett, one of Trump’s top economic advisers, said China had misbehaved as a member of the World Trade Organisation and there could be a case for “evicting China” from the organisation, according to the BBC.

“The mixed messages could be the US trying to win some bargaining chips for the upcoming meeting,” Cheung said.

“Investors are on the sidelines, closely watching to see if the meeting will yield any concrete results.”

Trump and President Xi Jinping 温were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, which is taking place from November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires.

Huagong Tech, a key supplier for Huawei, sank 5 per cent on Friday. Talkweb Information, which is a cloud service partner for Huawei, plummeted 7.4 per cent.

For the week, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.7 per cent.

Almost all sectors were down, with tech and internet-related stocks leading losses.

Combined turnover for the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets increased 17 per cent to 358.5 billion yuan from Thursday.

The losses on the mainland also dragged the Hong Kong market lower.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended down 0.4 per cent at 25,927.68, logging a weekly loss of 1 per cent.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-shares index, shed 0.6 per cent to 10,388.53. It posted a weekly drop of 1.8 per cent.

Turnover on the main board shrank 12 per cent to HK$59.5 billion from the previous day, the lowest in 22 months. Average daily turnover for the week stood at HK$73 billion, down more than 10 per cent from the previous week.

Tech and internet stocks were weak.

Meituan Dianping, the country’s largest on-demand service platform, fell nearly 12 per cent, after reporting its third-quarter losses had widened to 83.3 billion yuan. Still, the adjusted net loss was only 3.5 billion yuan, less than the 4.4 billion yuan in the same period last year, after excluding the impact of fair value changes of convertible redeemable preferred shares.

Telecoms equipment maker ZTE fell 2 per cent. Internet conglomerate Tencent dropped 1.3 per cent.

WH Group, China’s largest pork processor that owns US-based Smithfield Foods, fell 2.1 per cent, after Chinese authorities said they had killed 600,000 pigs as of Thursday in an attempt to stem the rapid spread of African swine flu among its pigs.