Monday , February 17 2020

Chinese stocks rise as trade resumes


Chinese stocks rose as they traded for the first time in a week, with investors focusing on the upcoming trade talks with the US.
The CSI 300 Index closed up 0.6%. Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co halted trading after they were placed on a US blacklist along with six other Chinese technology firms. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd gained 2.3% after dropping its takeover bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc. The yuan was up 0.3%.
Ahead of the trade talks, senior Chinese officials have indicated the range of topics they’re willing to discuss has narrowed considerably, people familiar with the matter said. The US announcement of the blacklisted firms came as negotiators from both sides began preparations for the talks due to begin on Thursday in Washington.
The US accused the blacklisted firms of being implicated in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China’s far-western province of Xinjiang.
Entities on the list are prohibited from doing business with American companies without being granted a US government license, though some have maintained relationships with banned companies through international subsidiaries.
In a further twist ahead of the trade talks, China’s state broadcaster CCTV said that it would halt broadcasts of the National Basketball Association’s games as backlash intensified against the US league over a tweet that expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
Hong Kong’s financial markets were also closed on Monday for a holiday, after a weekend in which a ban on wearing masks spurred violent protests across the city, with banks and shops vandalized, and much of the transport network shut down.
The outlook remains clouded. The Hang Seng Index tumbled 8.6% last quarter, the biggest loss among major global gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Developers and mall operators dropped most as the escalating protests weighed on the economy and deterred travelers to the city.
On Tuesday Cathay Pacific Airways fell 3.7%, at one point hitting its lowest since 2009. New World Development Co fell 2.5% to lead declines on the benchmark index, which rose 0.3%.
A teenage demonstrator was shot and wounded during a struggle with police. Local media including the South China Morning Post also reported a man was dragged from his taxi and seriously beaten after apparently plowing into a crowd of protesters.
The yuan has stabilised after falling heavily in August, when it weakened past the key 7-per-dollar level for the first time since the financial crisis.

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