Wednesday, December 7

Hong Kong, China stocks fall after Xi appointments fan economic fears; yuan weakens

Article content

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI — Hong Kong stocks opened sharply lower on Monday and the yuan weakened after the membership line-up of China’s governing body heightened fears that Xi Jinping will double down on ideology-driven policies at the cost of economic growth.

Chinese shares also fell at open. But defense and military-related stocks surged as investors bet geopolitical tensions, particularly over Taiwan, will intensify.

Article content

Hong Kong’s stock benchmark Hang Seng opened down 2%. The Hang Seng Tech Index slumped 3.2% to a record low, while Hong Kong-listed Chinese developers also tumbled.

China’s bluechip CSI300 index dipped 0.4% at the open while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1%.

Offshore yuan fell to as low as 7.2790 per dollar in early morning trade, near record-low levels.

Onshore yuan also weakened, after the People’s Bank of China set the mid-point rate at its weakest level since June 1, 2020. (Reporting by Shanghai and Hong Kong newsroom; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)