Hong Kong Tumbles on Further COVID Easing

Hong Kong stocks saw sharp declines, leading losses in the Asia-Pacific after China announced further easing of COVID measures, a move that was widely expected. Airline stocks maintained some gains, while casinos and technology-related stocks fell into negative territory shortly after the announcement.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell back 199.47 points, or 0.7%, to 27,686.40.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 626.36 points, or 3.2%, to 19,814.32.

Hong Kong-listed Chinese technology stocks rose ahead of a government COVID press briefing.

Shares of Meituan rose more than 4% in Asia’s afternoon trade, while BYD gained more than 6%. Alibaba also climbed nearly 2%, Tencent rose 1.9% and Bilibili surged 9.3%.

Travel-related stocks also rose – Cathay Pacific rose nearly 5%, Air China rose 18%, China Eastern Airlines rose 15.28% and China Southern Airlines rose 10.85%.

The nation’s trade data for November came in lower than expected, according to customs data.

Australian indices dipped as the nation’s economy grew by 0.6% in the third quarter.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 9.36 points, or 0.3%, to 3,958.44.

Cross-region travelers in China will no longer need to show COVID-negative test results, according to a National Health Commission release.

Areas that are not designated as high-risk cannot halt work or production, the notice said.

COVID patients without symptoms can also choose to isolate at home for five days, it said.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex slipped 98.87 points, or 0.7%, to 14,630.01

In Korea, the Kospi index ditched 10.35 points, or 0.4%, to 2,382.81.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index sank 26.92 points, or 0.8%, to 3,225.45.

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 61.88 points, or 0.9%, to 7,229.39.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 backtracked 20.61 points, or 0.2%, to 11,610.98.