Stocks tumble as China's COVID protests roil sentiment

Stocks tumble as China's COVID protests roil sentiment

Stocks and commodities prices slid sharply on Monday as rare protests in major Chinese cities against the country's strict zero-COVID curbs raised investors' concerns about the growth implications for the world's second-largest economy.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index HSI shed 4.16% at the start of trade but recovered some territory to be off 2.32%. China's CSI300 Index 399300 was down 1.8% after opening down 2.2% while the yuan also retreated.

"Clearly the harsh China lock downs have been impacting their consumer and business sentiment for some time and the persistent downgrades to China GDP have been consistent for well over a year now with further downgrades to come," said George Boubouras, executive direct of K2 Asset Management in Melbourne.

"Markets do not like uncertainty and investors will look for some clarification to China's very harsh domestic lock down protocols."

Fears about Chinese economic growth also hit commodities markets.

Oil remained deep in negative territory on Monday with U.S. crude CL1! dipping 3% to $73.99 a barrel and Brent crude BRN1! falling 2.86% to $81.24 per barrel, as the COVID protests in top importer China fanned demand worries.

Australia's benchmark stock index XJO closed 0.42% lower while its risk-sensitive currency AUDUSD was off more than 1%. Japan's Nikkei stock index NI225 was down 0.6%.


Juma Mshihiri

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