HK stocks hit one-year low on regulatory fears; China steady
SYDNEY, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell to a one-year low on Tuesday as regulatory concerns hanging over the tech sector and the arrest of gambling boss Alvin Chau kept investors from joining a global bounce out of COVID-19 worries. Mainland shares steadied. ** At midday, the Hang Seng Index .HSI was down 1.09% at 23,591.68, its lowest since September 2020. It has lost more than 7% for the month, the biggest such fall since July.
** "There is no positive follow through from the U.S.," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at brokerage CMC Markets in Singapore, citing crackdown fears in tech and gaming as major concerns.
** Traders said last week's news of pressure on ride-hailing firm Didi Global DIDI.N to de-list in New York was driving fear of more regulatory heat in the tech space. Speculation that NetEase 9999.HK NTES.O could be a target dragged shares 7% lower.
** Alibaba's HK shares 9988.HK fell 2.7% to their lowest since listing. Fellow online giant Tencent 0700.HK fell 1.6% and food delivery company Meituan 3690.HK extended Monday's tumble by another 3% to hit an almost eight-week low.
** Macau gambling firm Suncity Group Holdings Ltd's 1383.HK shares almost halved upon resuming trade after CEO Alvin Chau was arrested on Sunday. Investors also feared that the gaming sector might be drifting into the authorities' crosshairs.
** Casino operators Sands China 1928.HK , Galaxy Entertainment 0027.HK and Wynn Macau 1128.HK also extended losses. This year, HK-listed gambling stocks .CSICESG10 have lost 40%.
** On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 0.23% at 3,571.01 points, rangebound but helped by an unexpected pickup in factory activity. For the month, it has declined 0.6%.
** China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was down 0.25%, dragged lower by losses in consumer staples .CSI000912 , down 1.77% and the healthcare subindex .CSI300HC , down 1.24%. It has fallen 1.4% in November.
** China's factory activity grew for the first time in three months as the crippling surge in raw material prices and power rationing eased.
** The yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.3717 per U.S. dollar, 0.25% firmer than the previous close of 6.3876, also helped by the better-than-expected manufacturing data. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was firmer by 0.10% while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 was up 0.65%. ** Markets are awaiting further details on the virulence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, while Hong Kong expanded a ban on entry for non-residents from several countries and Australia reviews containment steps.
Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Devika Syamnath
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