Hong Kong stocks end at over five-month low on China slowdown worries
(Updates closing prices)
SHANGHAI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended at a more than five-month low on Wednesday, while mainland China stocks also fell sharply on persistent concerns over a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
** The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.9% to 3,215.2, its the lowest closing level since Aug. 4. The blue-chip CSI 300 index was down 1.9% to end at its lowest closing level since Aug. 3 of 4,082.4.
** The start-up board ChiNext Composite index dropped 3.6%, while Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index fell 3.5%. ** In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 1.2% lower at 19,268.7, its lowest closing since March 15.
** Analysts attributed the weakness in the stock market to worries over the Chinese economy.
** "A raft of recently announced policy support has not put an end to the struggles of China's stock market," Capital Economics said in a note earlier this week, adding that the economy will continue to slide, as it faces multiple challenges.
** Developers led losses, with an index tracking Hong Kong-listed major Chinese real estate companies ending down 2.02%.
** Investment banks, including Nomura, said recent measures to rescue the ailing property sector seemed to be "too little, too late".
** "Beijing may need to consider a more comprehensive solution in its effort to resolve the property market predicament," said Ting Lu, chief China economist, Nomura. "However, there is a limited likelihood that such a solution will be reached before end-2022."
** Extreme heat in China also played havoc with crops and power supplies despite lower temperatures in some regions, with authorities across the Yangtze river basin scrambling to limit the damage from climate change on crops and livestock. ** Electric vehicle (EV) makers were among the top losers, with Xpeng closing down 12.18% after reporting a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.
** Other EV makers also fell, with Hong Kong-listed rivals NIO Inc, Li Auto, BYD Co and Geely Automobile all down about 5%.
(Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)
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