Hong Kong stocks slip 2% on rattling US futures, latest crackdown warning

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/15 18:28:40

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange building on July 11 Photo: VCG

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index slipped 2.06 percent to 24,158.54 points on Thursday, as US stock futures edged down as investors wait to see prospects of a COVID-19 stimulus deal before the US presidential election in November while the US sends new warnings to crack down on Chinese companies.

At the closing, Alibaba closed down 4.3 percent to HK$284.80 ($36.74), food-delivery and online services provider Meituan was down 4.81 percent to HK$265 and e-commerce platform JD.com was down 3.89 percent to HK$311.40.

Alibaba's stock price drop came as the Trump administration is considering putting Alibaba-backed Ant Group on a trade blacklist, which Reuters reported is due to China hardliners are seeking to deter US investors from joining the group's upcoming IPO.

As the US presidential election approaches, the Trump administration is acting harder on China in politics and economy in order to gain votes, observers noted.

The US State Department warned on Wednesday that it would sanction international financial institutions that do business with individuals who are "deemed responsible for China's crackdown in Hong Kong," Reuters said in a separate report.

Following the news, bank shares trading in Hong Kong slid too. The stock price of Bank of China dropped 1.20 percent to HK$2.48 and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was down 0.47 percent to HK$4.24.

It's worth noting that UK bank HSBC closed down 1.97 percent to HK$29.90, as the embattled bank has been reportedly absent from a list of banks underwriting China's US dollar-denominated sovereign bonds for the first time since 2017.

"Apart from these specific news, Hong Kong stock market drop also has to do with rattling US stock futures as they're closely related, Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management Co, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 258 points in early Thursday (US time). S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures traded in negative territory too.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that reaching a pandemic stimulus deal before the November election would be difficult as the parties remain far apart on some issues, CNBC reported.

"In the short term, investors' confidence in Hong Kong stock market has been impacted by the city's economic performance shocked by the COVID-19 as well as US' revocation of its special tariff treatment. But when the situation of the outbreak in Hong Kong comes under control and the exchange with the Chinese mainland fully reopens, I believe the valuation of Hong Kong stocks will rise again," Yang said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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