Hong Kong stocks hit 5-month low as Alibaba slides while Geely and BYD pace losses in EV makers on China slowdown

  • XPeng sinks, dragging other EV peers, after reporting a wider quarterly loss as vehicle delivery suffers under supply-chain disruptions
  • Slower car deliveries show another facet of economic slowdown in mainland China, with a looming power crisis set to roil production again

Hong Kong stocks slumped to a five-month low amid losses among Chinese carmakers as vehicle deliveries suffered from supply-chain disruptions and weak consumer confidence, undermining corporate earnings outlook.

The Hang Seng Index lost 1.2 per cent to 19,266.07 at 11.07am local time, the lowest since March 15. The Tech Index lost 2.4 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.9 per cent.

Geely Automobile retreated 3.1 per cent to HK$15.66 while BYD lost 4.4 per cent to HK$261and XPeng tumbled 13 per cent to HK$72.05. Among tech stocks, Alibaba Group Holding retreated 2.7 per cent to HK$86 and Meituan weakened 2.4 per cent to HK$164.80.

XPeng tumbled after the electric-car maker reported a wider underlying second quarter loss, infecting losses in other EV stocks. Li Auto tumbled 5.9 per cent to HK$112.60 while Nio slumped 3.9 per cent to HK$142.70.

“It is still early for China’s economy to show signs of strong recovery” following policy measures to counter the pandemic, said Alec Jin, investment director of Asian equities at abrdn in Hong Kong. “So, we expect the market to remain range-bound over the short term.”

Despite cuts in China’s policy and bank lending rates, stocks have failed to respond as a slump in the housing market slump and a looming power crisis knocked confidence at home. The Hang Seng Index has declined 3 per cent this month, bringing the losses this year to 17 per cent.

Hong Kong-listed companies accounting for one-third of the market capitalisation have reported their latest results through August 19, falling by 16 per cent in the second quarter and 21 per cent on first-half basis, according to data compiled by Goldman Sachs.

China’s energy crisis could also impact more than 1 million EVs due to reduced power supply at about 400,000 public charging facilities. Power rationing in southwestern China have roiled production lines including Tesla’s Gigafactory and SAIC Motor, while extended Covid-19 curbs this week continued to keep factories closed.

HSBC fell 1 per cent to HK$48.55 while Ping An Insurance (Group) jumped 2.2 per cent to HK$43.90. The insurance also came out publicly to support “any proposal” that can improve the performance of HSBC and boost returns to shareholders, co-CEO Jessica Tan said.

Henderson Land weakened 4.2 per cent to HK$26.10. Its first-half underlying profit saw a 34 per cent year-on-year decline in first-half profit to HK$5.1 billion, the Hong Kong developer announced on Tuesday. Developer Logan Group plunged 46 per cent to HK$1.17 as earnings slumped and trading resumed after a three-month halt.

Suxin Joyful Life Services Co slipped 6.6 per cent to HK$8.03 on its first day of trading. Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, with Japanese and South Korean shares losing 0.1 to 0.3 per cent. Australian equities added 0.7 per cent.

Author: Cheryl Heng, SCMP

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