China GDP: Hong Kong shares plunge 6% as fears about Xi’s third time period trump information

Hong Kong
CNN Enterprise

Hong Kong shares had their worst day for the reason that 2008 international monetary disaster, only a day after Chinese language chief Xi Jinping secured his iron grip on energy at a serious political gathering.

Overseas buyers spooked by the result of the Communist Social gathering’s management reshuffle dumped Chinese language equities and the yuan regardless of the discharge of stronger-than-expected GDP information. They’re apprehensive that Xi’s tightening grip on energy will result in the continuation of Beijing’s current insurance policies and additional dent the financial system.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Cling Seng

(HSI) Index plunged 6.4% on Monday, marking its largest day by day drop since November 2008. The index closed at its lowest stage since April 2009.

The Chinese language yuan weakened sharply, hitting a recent 14-year low towards the US greenback on the onshore market. On the offshore market, the place it will probably commerce extra freely, the forex tumbled 0.8%, hovering close to its weakest stage on file, even because the Chinese language financial system grew 3.9% within the third quarter from a 12 months in the past, in accordance with the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics. Economists polled by Reuters had anticipated development of three.4%.

The sharp sell-off got here someday after the ruling Communist Social gathering unveiled its new management for the subsequent 5 years. Along with securing an unprecedented third time period as social gathering chief, Xi packed his new management crew with staunch loyalists.

A variety of senior officers who’ve backed market reforms and opening up the financial system have been lacking from the brand new high crew, stirring issues concerning the future path of the nation and its relations with the USA. These pushed apart included Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Liu He, and central financial institution governor Yi Gang.

“It appears that the leadership reshuffle spooked foreign investors to offload their Chinese investment, sparking heavy sell-offs in Hong Kong-listed Chinese equities,” mentioned Ken Cheung, chief Asian foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho financial institution.

The GDP information marked a pick-up from the 0.4% enhance within the second quarter, when China’s financial system was battered by widespread Covid lockdowns. Shanghai, the nation’s monetary heart and a key international commerce hub, was shut down for 2 months in April and Could. However the development fee was nonetheless beneath the annual official goal that the federal government set earlier this 12 months.

“The outlook remains gloomy,” mentioned Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist for Capital Economics, in a analysis report on Monday.

“There is no prospect of China lifting its zero-Covid policy in the near future, and we don’t expect any meaningful relaxation before 2024,” he added.

Coupled with an additional weakening within the international financial system and a persistent droop in China’s actual property, all of the headwinds will proceed to stress the Chinese language financial system, he mentioned.

Evans-Pritchard anticipated China’s official GDP to develop by solely 2.5% this 12 months and by 3.5% in 2023.

Monday’s GDP information have been initially scheduled for launch on October 18 in the course of the Chinese language Communist Social gathering’s congress, however have been postponed with out clarification.

The likelihood that insurance policies resembling zero-Covid, which has resulted in sweeping lockdowns to comprise the virus, and “Common Prosperity” — Xi’s bid to redistribute wealth — could possibly be escalated was inflicting concern, Cheung mentioned.

“With the Politburo Standing Committee composed of President Xi’s close allies, market participants read the implications as President Xi’s power consolidation and the policy continuation,” he added.

Mitul Kotecha, head of rising markets technique at TD Securities, additionally identified that the disappearance of pro-reform officers from the brand new management bodes ailing for the way forward for China’s non-public sector.

“The departure of perceived pro-stimulus officials and reformers from the Politburo Standing Committee and replacement with allies of Xi, suggests that ‘Common Prosperity’ will be the overriding push of officials,” Kotecha mentioned.

Beneath the banner of the “Common Prosperity” marketing campaign, Beijing launched a sweeping crackdown on the nation’s non-public enterprise, which shook nearly each business to its core.

“The [market] reaction in our view is consistent with the reduced prospects of significant stimulus or changes to zero-Covid policy. Overall, prospects of a re-acceleration of growth are limited,” Kotecha mentioned.

On the tightly managed home market in China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2%. The tech-heavy Shenzhen Element Index misplaced 2.1%.

The Cling Seng Tech Index, which tracks the 30 largest expertise corporations listed in Hong Kong, plunged 9.7%.

Shares of Alibaba

(BABA) and Tencent

(TCEHY) — the crown jewels of China’s expertise sector — each plummeted greater than 11%, wiping a mixed $54 billion off their inventory market worth.

The sell-off spilled over into the USA as nicely. Shares of Alibaba and several other different main Chinese language shares buying and selling in New York, resembling EV corporations Nio

(NIO) and Xpeng, Alibaba rivals

(JD) and Pinduoduo

(PDD) and search engine Baidu

(BIDU), have been all down sharply Thursday afternoon.