Hong Kong stocks fall as China’s services activity contracted, adding to slowdown concerns

  • Ping An Insurance, WuXi Biologics and Bank of China Hong Kong are leading losses
  • Hang Seng Index is on track for a second monthly loss

Hong Kong and mainland stocks fell in early trading as China’s services activity contracted for the first time since February last year, adding to concerns of a slowing economy.

The Hang Seng Index fell 0.8 per cent to 25,330.93 at 9.50am local time, and was on track for its second monthly loss. China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.3 per cent and the CSI 300 of the biggest stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.5 per cent.

The official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – which measures morale in the services and construction sectors – fell to 47.5 in August, from 53.3 in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

The figure was below a Bloomberg survey which predicted a fall to 51.9, and is the lowest figure since the index slumped to an all-time low of 29.6 in February 2020, after China began lockdowns to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Ping An Insurance fell 2.9 per cent to HK$60.95, while WuXi Biologics declined 2.1 per cent to HK$117.30. Bank of China Hong Kong dropped 1.9 per cent to HK$23.45.

Meanwhile, Meituan gained 2.3 per cent to HK$233.60. The operator of China’s largest food delivery and on-demand local services platform beat second-quarter estimates with a 77 per cent revenue growth, despite the government’s antitrust investigation and the regulatory scrutiny of the country’s technology sector.

In Shanghai, Chengdu Guoguang Electric, which manufactures and distributes microwave electron products, soared 172.2 per cent to 140 yuan on its trading debut.

Author: Martin Choi, SCMP

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