Asian Stocks Sink as China Slowdown Fears Persist

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Asian Stocks Sink as China Slowdown Fears Persist
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick 

Investing.com-- Most Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, with China-exposed equities tumbling further as markets fretted over a potential economic slowdown in the country due to its zero-COVID policy and more U.S. curbs on trade. 

China’s bluechip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index fell 1% while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.7%, with both indexes extending losses into a third consecutive session. Uncertainty over the country’s economy grew this week after the government indefinitely postponed the release of key third-quarter economic data . The customs bureau also did not release the widely anticipated trade data for September, which was due on Friday. 

The delays were attributed to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party which occurred on Sunday, although the government provided no details on when the data will be released. 

 The Congress also came as a source of anxiety for markets, after President Xi Jinping said the country has no plans to scale back its zero-COVID policy. Promises of stimulus measures to support economic growth did little to improve sentiment. 

Chinese technology stocks saw extended selling on Wednesday, with markets remaining wary of new U.S. curbs to block chip exports to Chinese companies. Concerns over the move were renewed this week after a report said Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) intended to stop chip supplies from a Chinese company. 

Other markets with tech exposure to China also saw extended losses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slumped 1.7% and came close to an 11-year low. Weak earnings also weighed on sentiment, with exchange operator HKEX (HK: 0388 ) falling 1% after its third-quarter profit shrank 30%. 

The Taiwan Weighted index slid 1%, while South Korea’s KOSPI index shed 0.4%. Both indexes are heavily exposed to the Chinese market. 

Other Asian markets rose slightly, tracking a strong overnight session on Wall Street after a series of upbeat earnings. But hawkish comments from some Federal Reserve officials on the path of U.S. interest rates limited regional gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4%, while India’s Nifty 50 index added 0.5%. Malaysian stocks led gains across Southeast Asia with a 0.9% jump. 

Still, sentiment towards Asian markets remains subdued in the face of rising interest rates across the globe. Regional markets logged sharp losses this year as tightening monetary conditions sapped appetite for most risk-driven assets.

 

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