Chinese authorities have now pivoted their focus to casinos, with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) announcing that it is investigating “rolling out stringent gaming regulations in the months to come”. This has led to Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, losing about $18 billion on top of the losses caused by Covid-19 lockdown measures. Moreover, global investor confidence has been weighed down by the sporadic Chinese crackdowns.
Chinese and Hong Kong shares fell on Thursday due to regulatory concerns and as China Evergrande Group (HK: 3333 ), a Chinese property giant, fell to its lowest point in about 10 years. Japan’s Nikkei also saw a red day as investors continued to book profits.
Wall Street started the day flat as the rise in banks, due to stronger-than-expected retail sales data, was countered by the fall in heavyweight tech shares. European indices inched up thanks to a surge in the travel sector, after Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY ) lifted its long-term traffic forecast, which offset Chinese economic fears.
Locally, the JSE closed down, with banks, resources, and miners as the biggest losers, tracking the global mood and the focus on Chinese regulations as well as speculation about future US monetary policy decisions. The rand marked its biggest one-day drop in two months after J.P. Morgan suggested earlier this week that the rand should be sold as “key terms of trade were starting to look less favourable”.
In commodities, bullion struggled with gold slipping about 3% and silver more than 5% due to upbeat US retail sales figures lifting the greenback and speculation that the US Federal Reserve could fast-track tapering. Brent crude prices stabilised as Hurricane Nicholas’ threat to US Gulf crude production receded.
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