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Hong Kong stocks hit 7-wk low on anti-trust worries, tech sell-off

05/11/2021 04:37
Hong Kong stocks hit 7-wk low on anti-trust worries, tech sell-off

HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -3.4%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 6.2%

HSI -2.0%, HSCE -2.1%, CSI300 +0.6%

FTSE China A50 +1.1%

- Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday to a seven-week low, tracking an overnight tech sell-off on the Wall Street, while persistent anti-monopoly fears also weighed on tech giants listed in the Asian financial hub.

The Hang Seng index .HSI fell 2.0% to 28,013.81, lowest closing since March 25, while the China Enterprises Index .HSCE lost 2.1% to 10,431.55 points.

Leading the retreat, the Hang Seng tech index .HSTECH slumped as much as 4.5% to a six-month low before ending down 3%, dropping more than 30% from a record high hit on Feb. 18.

Tech giants Tencent 0700.HK and Alibaba 9988.HK slipped 1.8% and 3.5%, respectively.

The retreat came after China's State Administration for Market Regulation said on Friday that it would continue to promote rectification of platform companies. nL1T2MU10W

Shares of food delivery giant Meituan 3690.HK closed 5.3% lower after tumbling as much as 9.8%. nL1N2MX0DN

Meituan's chairman Wang Xing had last week posted an ancient poem on Fanfou, a Twitter-like social media platform, that had triggered traders' speculation that he was complaining about the ongoing regulatory crackdown.

Steven Leung, sales director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong, said Wang's posting of poem raised concerns over the company even as anti-monopoly worries persisted.

Analysts and traders said Tuesday's tech sell-off was mainly due to lingering worries over anti-monopoly regulations and a tech correction in the U.S. stock market.

Wall Street closed lower on Monday, as inflation jitters drove investors away from market-leading growth stocks in favor of cyclicals. nL1N2MX2E8

Panic selling in tech shares is triggered by fears of deepening anti-trust probes, said Zhong Long, fund manager at Chinese hedge fund Oriental Ze Jin.

"Impact of the anti-monopoly campaign has not yet been fully priced in... For Alibaba, the shoes have dropped. But for others, including Meituan and Tencent, it's far from over. And if you look at similar campaigns in the U.S., it's not just about fines. Sometimes it would lead to break-ups."

Market reaction to China's latest inflation and population data was largely muted.

China's factory gate prices rose at the fastest rate in 3-1/2 years in April, official data showed on Tuesday. nL1N2MW0LW nL1N2MY048

But most analysts didn't think it would trigger a major policy shift by the central bank.

(Reporting by Luoyan Liu, Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

(([email protected]; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))