Friday, September 17, 2021

China tech selloff stalls as investors await Beijing’s next move

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Chinese Stock Updates

Chinese stocks leveled off on Wednesday as investors caught their breath after Beijing’s crackdown on education and technology companies triggered a sell-off this week.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent in morning trading after falling more than 5 percent on Tuesday. China’s CSI 300 index of stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.4 percent after a 3.5 percent drop in the previous session.

The slide in Chinese tech stocks came on Tuesday when internet group Tencent announced that it had stopped registrations on its flagship app WeChat “to align with all relevant laws and regulations.” The company’s shares fell 2.5 percent on Wednesday after losing 10 percent the day before.

Global investor concerns are heightened by extensive crackdown by the Chinese authorities in numerous sectors. On Friday, a leaked memo pointed to a radical overhaul of China’s $ 100 billion private education industry, threatening to wipe out billions of dollars of foreign investment. Regulatory changes were confirmed over the weekend.

Overnight, the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index of U.S.-traded Chinese Tech Stocks fell more than 5%, pushing the benchmark’s losses since the memo was leaked to more than 19%. .

Alibaba, the e-commerce group founded by billionaire Jack Ma, and delivery company Meituan changed little on Wednesday after diving into the previous session.

Traders said any gains in Hong Kong on Wednesday came from short hedging, which is when investors who have bet on a falling stock buy back shares to shut down their operations.

“You can see this contamination of fear and China’s sell-off is both domestic and international,” said Andy Maynard, a trader at China Renaissance, an investment bank.

Regulatory pressure from Beijing has mounted rapidly in recent weeks following the $ 4.4 billion initial public offering of the Didi Chuxing company in New York last month. Didi had proceeded with the listing despite private warnings from the Chinese authorities not to do so.

Top leaders in Beijing have called for a review of the way Chinese companies are listed abroad, and the country’s cybersecurity regulator plans to review all overseas listings of groups with more than 1 million users for security reasons. national.

“China’s policy reversal is tectonic,” said Richard Yetsenga, chief economist at ANZ. He said Beijing’s latest moves to assert control over the country’s fast-growing tech sector had substantial implications for slowing China’s economic growth.

“If technology is unable to sustain China’s high growth rate, the focus will return to manufacturing and consumption,” Yetsenga added. “But both face structural challenges of their own.”

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Topix fell 0.7% and Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 fell 0.4%. S&P 500 futures were flat ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day.

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