Hong Kong and China stocks fell on Wednesday, with investors’ risk appetite soured by sharp losses on Wall Street on concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump will struggle to deliver tax cuts and other reflationary economic policies. In Hong Kong, where stocks are more exposed to global volatility than their mainland peers, the benchmark Hang Seng index looked set to snap a four-session winning streak. It fell 1.4 percent by the end of the morning session, to 24,251.14 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 2.1 percent to 10,416.16, partly due to weaker southbound inflows from Shanghai through a trading link. “Investors are taking a review of the global economic recovery as Trump fails to put forward specific figures on his tax cut policies and infrastructure plans,” said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd.
Profit taking was also to blame after the recent run-up, Yip said, adding that some investors were worried stocks were too pricey and that such high valuations can’t be justified.
On Tuesday, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average booked their biggest one-day slide since before Trump’s election victory in November on concerns over his capability to deliver promised corporate tax cuts. Sectors in Hong Kong lost ground across the board, with industrial stocks leading the declines. Global bearish sentiment also dragged on mainland China markets, according to Zhang Qi, an analyst at Haitong Securities. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.7 percent to 3,442.58, while the Shanghai Composite Index also lost 0.7 percent to 3,237.95.
Banks were among the worst performers, with an index tracking the sector falling 1.2 percent by the lunch break, Zhang said investors were also concerned about tightening liquidity in the banking system as the end of the quarter nears. Short-term interest rates in China surged on Tuesday as cash conditions tightened on worries the central bank’s quarterly risk assessment at the end of this month would restrict lending in the interbank market. Bucking the broad trend were stocks related to the “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative, which firmed 0.6 percent after China launched its official website on Tuesday. The healthcare sector gained 0.5 percent, after receiving a boost from heavyweight Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd .