Stocks fall on Chinese tech losses, real estate jitters return – Reuters

  • Chinese tech spooked by Didi’s U.S. delisting
  • Evergrande plummets on debt warning, contagion fears increase
  • PBOC cuts RRR ratio for second time this year
  • South African rand surges on hopes Omicron symptoms are mild

Dec 6 (Reuters) – Emerging market stocks fell close to a one-year low on Monday tracking losses in Chinese technology stocks, while a crisis in the country’s property sector deepened as developer China Evergrande flagged the possibility of missing debt payments.

MSCI’s index of emerging market (EM) stocks (.MSCIEF) shed 0.7% to 1,215.86 points, just a few points above a one-year low of 1,208.54 touched last week.

China’s Baidu (9888.HK) and Alibaba Group (9988.HK), which are among the largest EM stocks, sank more than 5.5% each after ride-hailing firm Didi Global Inc’s (DIDI.N) decision to delist from the New York Stock Exchange last week caused jitters over major Chinese stocks with U.S listings. read more

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“China issues have not disappeared and despite reassuring words from various state organs regarding China company U.S. listing over the weekend, nerves surrounding China big-tech will continue,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA wrote in a note.

Shares in internet giant Tencent (0700.HK), the third of the so-called “BAT” trio, fell more than 3%.

Shares of debt-ridden property developer, China Evergrande (3333.HK), plunged around 20% after it said on Friday there was “no guarantee” that it would have enough funds to meet debt repayments, before the end of a 30-day grace period on payments on Monday. read more

Evergrande’s announcement spurred government intervention to reassure markets, while other, smaller property firms, including Sunshine 100 China (2608.HK) and Kaisa Group (1638.HK) also flagged risk of default.

A default in the property market has the potential to severely dent China’s economic growth, and also spill over into global debt markets exposed to the sector.

“The world is witnessing the end of China’s decade-long housing boom, but we believe the era that will replace it will be ‘credit positive’,” Robin Usson, credit analyst at the international business of Federated Hermes wrote in a note.

YTD falls for major Chinese property stocks
YTD falls for major Chinese property stocks

China’s central bank also said it will cut banks’ reserve requirement ratio for the second time this year, releasing more liquidity into the market to bolster slowing economic growth. read more

EM currencies were flat, as investors awaited more clarity on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, while keeping to safe havens such as the dollar and the yen.

South Africa’s rand rose 0.8% to the dollar, leading EM gains after anecdotal accounts from local doctors suggested that Omicron – the reason behind a fourth wave of COVID infections in the country – may be causing less severe clinical symptoms than other coronavirus variants. read more

Concerns over the new variant had spurred large swings in markets over the past week as investors feared more curbs on activity, while uncertainty over a hawkish Federal Reserve also weighed on sentiment.

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Reporting by Ambar Warrick, additional reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Alex Richardson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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