Hong Kong stocks extend decline as Omicron dims recovery outlook while Macau casino operators slide again

Asia's Tech News Daily

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Hong Kong stocks fell for a third day as concerns the Omicron coronavirus variant will derail global economic recovery. An improvement in Chinese manufacturing data failed to shore up sentiment.

The Hang Seng Index retreated 1.4 per cent to 23,513.68 at 10.43am local time. The Hang Seng Tech Index slipped 1.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed.

Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and Meituan tumbled 1.4 per cent to 2.5 per cent, pacing index losers, on lingering worries about its earnings outlook following a weak third-quarter report. Xinyi Glass and Mengniu Dairy both declined by at least 1.8 per cent.

Investors continued to reduce risk-taking as the new Covid-19 variant triggered a surge in global infection cases. Countries including Japan, Britain and the US have imposed travel curbs while Hong Kong tightened entry rules for high-risk countries with reported infections.

Manufacturing in China expanded slightly in November, with the official purchasing managers’ index rising to 50.1 from 49.2 in October, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday. The index was expected to increase to 49.7, according to economists tracked by Bloomberg.

Separately, Macau’s largest casino junket operator Suncity Group said its controlling shareholder Alvin Chau Cheok-wa offered to step down as chairman and executive director, following his arrest over the weekend. Its shares sank 42 per cent to HK$0.15.

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