China stocks slipped on Friday morning, erasing earlier gains, with sentiment hurt by a tumble in internet shares after Beijing tightened the noose around online content. For the week, however, China blue chips are still on course to post solid gains, cheered by index publisher MSCI’s decision to include mainland shares to its emerging market benchmark. The CSI300 index rose in the morning, but a bout of selling toward the lunch break knocked the blue-chip index down 0.4 percent by midday, to 3,576.37 points. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent, to 3,124.23 points.
On Thursday, shares related to Chinese conglomerates Dalian Wanda Group Co and Fosun slumped on news the banking regulator had ordered checks on offshore loans to several acquisitive Chinese firms which have been snapping up assets overseas, including Wanda, Fosun, HNA Group and Zhejiang Luosen. These shares, including Wanda Film Holding, and Fosun Pharmaceutical stabilised on Friday, after the companies said operations were normal, while Chinese lender ICBC said the loan assessment was routine.
But the relief was offset as the tech-heavy board ChiNext dropped more than 1 percent, with internet-related firms hit by news that China had told three major web portals to shut down their video and audio streaming services, saying they carry politically-related material that breaks state rules. Also hurting sentiment, Tesla-related stocks tumbled on profit-taking after Tesla Inc said on Thursday that it was in exploratory talks with the Shanghai municipal government on building a manufacturing plant in the city.
Shares in Shanghai Lingang Holdings Co Ltd slumped the maximum allowed 10 percent, after the company said it had not contacted Tesla, smashing market rumours. Most sectors in China fell. Bucking the trend, the property sector jumped more than 2 percent, led by index heavyweight Vanke which surged 7 percent.
In Hong Kong, stocks were little changed. The Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent, to 25,687.10 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 percent, to 10,434.18. Hong Kong shares in Shanghai Electric, one of the largest equipment manufacturing conglomerates in China, dropped more than 2 percent after denying media reports that Tesla had signed a joint venture agreement with it.