SINGAPORE – Shares in China lagged among Asia-Pacific markets on Tuesday, though some losses were pared following the release of Chinese economic data that was far above expectations.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses regionally, momentarily falling more than 4% before recovering from some of those losses, last trading 2.26% lower. That came after the benchmark index closed at its lowest since March 2016 on Monday.
Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong mostly continued to decline in Tuesday trade, with the Hang Seng Tech index trading more than 1% lower after tumbling almost 6% earlier.
Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba, JD.com and NetEase – firms which are also listed in the US – dropped more than 2% each as investors continued to assess the prospect of potential delistings from US exchanges.
Electric vehicle maker Nio, another dual-listed stock, fell more than 10% after its US listed-shares plunged overnight on renewed delisting fears.
Sentiment on Chinese tech shares took a hit on Monday following a Wall Street Journal report that Tencent could face a record fine for violating anti-money laundering rules.
“Prospects of a hefty record fine on Tencent on money laundering regulatory breaches sent ripples of fears that Beijing’s opaque crackdown on the tech space may not quite all be in the rear-view mirror just yet,” Mizuho Bank’s Vishnu Varathan wrote in a Tuesday note .
In mainland China, the Shanghai composite slipped 1.5% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.657%.
Data released Tuesday showed Chinese industrial output rising 7.5% year-on-year in January and February as compared to a year earlier, higher than the 3.9% increase predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Retail sales in China for the first two months of the year also beat expectations, gaining 6.7% in January and February as compared with expectations for a 3% rise by analysts in a Reuters poll.
However, China is currently facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the height of the pandemic in 2020, with major cities including Shenzhen rushing to limit business activity.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.67%. In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 slipped 0.53%.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan climbed 0.37% while the Topix index advanced 0.93%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.26% lower.
Oil prices drop 5%
Oil prices dropped in the morning of Asia trading hours on Tuesday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 5.52% to $ 101 per barrel. US crude futures shed 5.21% to $ 97.64 per barrel. Those moves came after oil prices sharply declined overnight.
Oil prices have seen wild swings since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which raised fears of supply disruptions in an already tight market. Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials are set to restart on Tuesday, following Monday’s negotiations between the two sides.
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 shed 0.74% to 4,173.11 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.04% to 12,581.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was slightly changed at 32,945.24.
US Treasury yields rose Tuesday morning Asia time. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.1579% after topping 2.14% on Monday. Yields move inversely to prices. The rise in Treasury yields comes amid expectations that the US Federal Reserve is set to announce an interest rate hike on Wednesday.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.136 – still higher than levels below 98 seen last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 118.31 per dollar after weakening from below 118 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7171 following yesterday’s decline from above $ 0.728.