As China rattles nerves, Hong Kong leads most Asian markets lower.
As traders were worried by China’s new crackdown on a range of businesses, Hong Kong led a sell-off across most Asian markets Tuesday, extending the previous day’s losses.
Analysts say traders are concerned about new controls on China’s tutorial industry, which have destroyed private education organizations, as well as future actions against tech firms and new laws for property and food delivery companies.
This comes amid growing concerns about the rapidly spreading Delta coronavirus type and the sluggish introduction of vaccines, which has forced some governments to impose new lockdowns or other containment measures.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s highest-level China-US negotiations ended with little progress in addressing their disagreements, implying that tensions between the two countries will continue to simmer.
Following Beijing’s latest attempt to tighten its control on the economy, Hong Kong’s stock market fell more than 4%, matching Monday’s dip.
China announced over the weekend that it would prohibit companies that teach school curriculums from generating a profit, acquiring capital, or going public, thereby rendering them uninvestable.
Officials also sought to bring in tech giant Tencent, while also announcing new measures to safeguard delivery drivers who are underpaid.
Rodrigo Catril of National Australia Bank remarked, “China’s regulatory uncertainty is not going away.”
“Indeed, it appears to be expanding, with no clear indication of when or where it will end.”
Firms caught up in the regulatory sweep in Hong Kong plummeted even further, however the losses for education firms were not as severe as they had been on Monday.
Tencent, for example, was notified by officials that it had to cede its exclusive music label rights due to possible antitrust violations.
It fell ten percent, while Alibaba fell more than six percent. Meituan, a food delivery service, has lost more than 17% of its value.
Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Wellington, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Taipei all had declines, while Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, and Manila saw gains.
In early trade, London, Paris, and Frankfurt were all sharply lower.
“The big question today is if regulators would do more and broaden the crackdown to other sectors,” CMB International Securities strategist Daniel So noted.
“Regulatory concerns will be the main market overhang in the second half.”
The dismal tone in Asia contrasted sharply with Wall Street, where all three major indices finished at new highs, owing to better-than-expected corporate profits and a long-held view that the economy’s long-term prospects remain bright.
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