Chinese markets plummet as Covid protests scare investors

Rare scenes of open disagreement in China have spooked investors in the country and caused defeat in Asian markets.

The unrest in China represents the boldest public outcry against the ruling Communist Party in years.

Complaints followed that measures to eradicate the coronavirus by isolating all cases may have increased the death toll in an apartment fire in Urumqi, in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell more than 2 percent in afternoon trade, with technology and real estate stocks leading the decline.

The onshore yuan weakened 0.6 percent against the dollar.

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1) Banks are accused of charging thousands of pounds extra for mortgage payments – Customers are still paying much higher interest rates than before Mini-Budget, even though markets have recovered

2) The battle to build Europe’s next-generation fighter jet Questions remain about dual combat programs as Europe slides into recession

3) Traders brace for fresh stock market slumps as protests sweep China Unrest is expected to hit Chinese stock prices when trading in Asia begins

4) British Airways is doubling operations at Gatwick Airport – The airline plans to increase the number of aircraft based at the Sussex site from 14 to as many as 28

5) Hopes for Christmas mail rise as union offers last-ditch talks with Royal Mail to avoid strikesThe Communication Workers Union proposed “intense negotiations” after rejecting Royal Mail’s latest collective bargaining agreement

what happened overnight

Stock and commodity prices fell sharply overnight as rare protests in major Chinese cities against the country’s strict zero-Covid restrictions sparked investor concerns about the impact on growth for the world’s second-largest economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 1.5 percent after falling 2.2 percent at the open, dragged lower by a sell-off in Chinese markets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 4.16 percent at the start of trading but recovered somewhat to 2.32 percent. China’s CSI300 index fell 1.8 percent after falling 2.2 percent, while the yuan also declined.

“The tough lockdowns in China have clearly been affecting consumer and business sentiment for some time, and the ongoing Chinese GDP downgrades have been consistent for well over a year, with more downgrades to come,” said George Boubouras, executive director of K2 Asset management in Melbourne.

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