Hong Kong stocks fell as traders locked in gains from a two-week rally before any potential surprise from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later this week.
The Hang Seng Index fell 1.6 per cent to 19,583.65 as of 10.35am local time, retreating from the highest since August 31. The Tech Index tumbled 3.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.5 per cent.
Alibaba Group dropped 2.5 per cent to HK$89.65 and Meituan lost 3.3 per cent to HK$182.40. Property-management unit Country Garden Services plunged 12 per cent to HK$21.10 after its controlling shareholder agreed to trim her stake at a discount. Developer Country Garden slumped 2 per cent to HK$3.
The pullback came as concerns China’s decision to ease its zero-Covid regime will stoke infections and hurt economic recovery. Daily cases amounted to 10,597 on Sunday, health officials said, holding above the 10,000 levels for at least a month.
The Fed holds its final scheduled meeting this year on December 13-14, with consensus calling for a 50-basis point hike, following successive increases of 75 basis points in the previous four meetings. Higher than expected producer prices in November, however, is keeping the market alert for nasty surprises.
Elsewhere, traders are also watching for signals from China’s annual policy-setting central economic work conference from Thursday.
Other major Asian markets all declined. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5 per cent per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi retreated 0.6 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7 per cent.