Friday, May 24, 2024

Economic concerns grow as China contends with rising COVID numbers and protests

(BBC News) Angry protests across China have compounded the financial sector’s fears of rising COVID cases and the continuation of Beijing’s strict “zero-COVID” policy.

Stocks: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 4% as markets opened on Monday. China’s CSI 300 index is down more than 2%. Stocks in Australia, South Korea, and Japan were also experiencing losses.

Oil: Oil reached its lowest level of the year. Benchmark brent crude is down 2% at $81.70 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate was down 2.5% at $74.36 per barrel.

Futures: The Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures were also down, a hint that U.S. markets could follow Asia’s lead later in the trading day.

Currency: China’s onshore yuan weakens to 7.23 against the US dollar in early trading, the weakest level since Nov. 10.

China is seeing record case numbers, and many analysts are concerned about China’s shrinking economy. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported profits fell 3.0% in the first 10 months of 2022 compared to the previous year.

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