China stocks hit four-month low as Fed rate hike looms

Shanghai, China. Investors worried that rising overseas rates would drain liquidity from Chinese markets and limit the central bank's room for future monetary easing.

Shanghai, China. Investors worried that rising overseas rates would drain liquidity from Chinese markets and limit the central bank's room for future monetary easing.

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SHANGHAI (Sept 21): Chinese stocks tumbled to a more than four-month low on Wednesday (Sept 21), tracking global peers lower ahead of an expected aggressive interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

Hong Kong's main stock benchmark plunged to its lowest level since mid-March.

The CSI 300 Index lost 1% by the end of the morning session, set to hit the lowest level since May 9, while the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.6%.

The Hang Sang Index fell 1.5%, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.9%.

Other Asian stocks fell, following a sell-off on Wall Street overnight, and the yuan also weakened to a new 26-month low against a rising dollar right ahead of the Fed's policy setting.

Foreign investors had sold Chinese stocks worth more than 3.4 billion yuan (US$480 million or RM2.2 billion) so far through the stock connect scheme.

Investors worried that rising overseas rates would drain liquidity from Chinese markets and limit the central bank's room for future monetary easing.

"Fast depreciation of China's yuan indeed has impact on China's stock market," Guosheng Securities analysts wrote in a note, adding that the money outflow also dented sentiment.

Shares in healthcare and semiconductor companies led declines on the Shanghai index, dropping more than 2%, while property developers went up by 0.5% and energy suppliers edged up 0.6%.

Hong Kong-listed tech giants slumped 2.5%, with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group plunging 3.6% and food-delivery firm Meituan down 2.6%, to become the biggest drag on the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Hong Kong shares in mainland developers, consumer discretionary and healthcare shed more than 2% each.