China stocks fall as virus worries, Fed rate hike bets weigh; Hong Kong up

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SHANGHAI, Jan 11 (Reuters) - China shares fell on Tuesday as expectations of quicker U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and domestic local COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on sentiment, with defence and information technology stocks leading the decline.

The CSI300 index (.CSI300) fell 0.3% to 4,830.14 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index (.SSEC) lost 0.1% to 3,590.82.

The Hang Seng index (.HSI) climbed 0.4% to 23,833.57. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index (.HSCE) gained 0.5% to 8,408.52.

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** Some of Wall Street's biggest banks now expect the Fed to raise interest rates four times this year, and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) sees the Fed beginning the process of reducing its balance sheet size as soon as July.

** The defence sector (.CSI399959) slumped 2.2%, while the information technology sub-index (.CSIINT), agriculture stocks (.CSI000809) and automobiles (.CSI931008) retreated between 1.5% and 1.8%.

** China is battling with the latest local COVID-19 outbreaks, and the Omicron variant has been detected in at least three provinces. read more

** Real estate developers (.CSI000952) extended gains to a third session, rising 2.1% on marginal policy easing expectations for the sector.

** Some banks rose on robust 2021 earnings results, with the CSI 300 Banks Index (.CSI000951) up more than 1%.

** Tech giants and healthcare firms lifted Hong Kong stocks.

** The Hang Seng Tech Index (.HSTECH) gained 0.5%, with Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) and Meituan (3690.HK) up 1.6% and 1.9% respectively, while Alibaba Group (9988.HK) lost 1.4%.

** Wuxi Biologics (2269.HK) jumped 6.2% to become the biggest percentage gainer on the Hang Seng Index, after a filing showed JPMorgan Chase & Co's long position in the pharmaceutical firm had risen to 5%.

** The Hang Seng healthcare sub-index (.HSCIH) gained 2.4%. CanSino Biologics Inc (6185.HK) fell 6.7% on a share sale report.

** Property developer Shimao Group Holdings (0813.HK) edged up 0.4% after it denied a report that it had entered into a preliminary agreement to sell a Shanghai plaza. read more

** Mainland developers listed in Hong Kong (.HSMPI) added 2.3%.

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Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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