Index heavyweight Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd was the biggest drag on the CSI300 on Monday, falling 2.29%. Chinese automakers fell after an industry group estimated that sales in April had dropped 48% year-on-year, as zero COVID-19 policies shut factories, limited traffic to showrooms and put the brakes on spending. BYD Co Ltd fell 3.86% and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd fell 3.4%. Chinese export growth slowed to its weakest in nearly two years, while imports barely changed in April as tighter and wider COVID-19 curbs halted factory production and crimped domestic demand.
Growing concerns about the economic impact of COVID-19 lockdowns weighed on sentiment, with new trade data reflecting soft demand. Chinese blue-chip shares fell on Monday, under pressure from slumping consumer and financial firms. China’s blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.8 percent to 3,877.44 points on the day. The Shanghai Composite index increased by 0.014 percent to 3,004.14 points. The financial sector sub-index of the CSI300 index decreased 0.68 percent, consumer staples 1.5 percent, real estate 0.19 percent, and healthcare 0.88 percent. Concerns about the increasing impact of COVID-19 curbs were among the biggest losers on Monday, with a sub-index tracking the sector down 2.19 percent.
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China’s two biggest cities tightened COVID-19 curbs on their residents on Monday, as authorities wrestle with the country’s worst COVID outbreaks to date. Markets in Hong Kong are closed on Monday for a public holiday. The smaller Shenzhen index ended 0.35% higher and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.753%. Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was 1.23% weaker, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.53%. At 0712 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.7201 per U.S. dollar, having touched a new 18-month low earlier in the session.
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