Nov 19, 2021
Asian shares down as Alibaba's slide reignites China worries
Nov 19, 2021
Asian shares fell on Friday as disappointing earnings from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba heightened worries about Beijing's broad regulatory crackdown and slowing growth in the world's second-biggest economy.
That saw the region lag a solid Wall Street performance overnight, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off 0.44% and set for a weekly decline of 1.2%.
Tokyo's Nikkei outperformed, however, rising 0.40% after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a fresh stimulus package with spending worth around 56 trillion yen ($490 billion).
Overnight, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record closing highs, boosted by upbeat corporate earnings news from companies including Nvidia.
But the tone was more subdued in Asia, with the Hong Kong benchmark down sharply 1.5%, dragged down by index heavyweight Alibaba. The Chinese e-commerce firm's shares tumbled over 10% after its second-quarter results missed expectations due to slowing consumption, increasing competition and a regulatory crackdown.
The decline reflects slowing growth in China this year, analysts said, while a broad months-long regulatory crackdown by Beijing across many sectors including property and technology have weighed on investor sentiment more generally.
Chinese economic data over recent months have also underlined a loss of growth momentum, with the outlook over the next 12 months more subdued than at the start of the year.
"Following substantial slowdown of National Bureau of Statistics retail data for the past two months, it is not surprising to us that (Alibaba) printed a missed quarter," said Citi analysts in a note, lowering their target price on the stock.
Turmoil in China's property sector, which is struggling with a heavy debt burden and a squeeze on liquidity amid Beijing's crackdown, also remain a drag on broad global sentiment.
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