China bluechip index flat; chipmakers, gaming stocks slump on regulatory concerns

SHANGHAI: China’s blue-chip index were unchanged on Tuesday, but chip-makers led a decline in tech shares amid mounting regulatory concerns.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was flat at 4,934.46 points. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 3,447.99 points.

Tech shares fell sharply. Shanghai STAR50 Index slumped 2.2%, while Shenzhen’s start-up board ChiNext dropped 1%0.

Prospects of slower economic growth dented risk appetite. “We expect industrial production and exports to moderate, while investment and consumption may continue their slow recovery,” Citi wrote a note on Tuesday.

“With the lack of signs of a rebound in economic fundamentals, a slowdown in domestic credit, and no further monetary easing policy, the stock market’s risk appetite is unlikely to increase in the short run,” UBS Securities China Rates Market analyst Mary Xia wrote.

China’s CSI All Shares Semiconductor & Semiconductor Equipment Index tumbled over 6% on news that Chinese regulators launched an investigation into chip distributors in the auto industry, with a focus on price gouging.

Chinese online gaming companies, including Youzu Interactive and Perfect World Co slumped, after a Chinese state media outlet branded online video games “spiritual opium”, worrying investors that the sector may be next in regulators’ crosshairs.

But healthcare stocks surged as Covid-19 vaccine and diagnosis stocks jumped amid signs of the virus spreading into more Chinese cities.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.11%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.5%.

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