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Asia report: Markets mixed as Didi leads Chinese tech plays lower

By Josh White

Date: Friday 23 Jul 2021

Asia report: Markets mixed as Didi leads Chinese tech plays lower

(Sharecast News) - Stock markets in Asia were mixed as they closed on Friday, with technology plays leading the losses in Greater China, as regulatory concerns reemerged from Beijing.
In Japan, traders enjoyed a second consecutive day off for the Health and Sports Day holiday, as the yen weakened 0.28% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 110.45.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.68% at 3,550.40, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite was 1.43% weaker at 2,468.14.

South Korea's Kospi managed gains of 0.13% to 3,254.42, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 1.45% to 27,321.98.

Technology stocks were in the red in the special administrative region, with Kuaishou Technology down 10.75%, Meituan off 2.36%, and Tencent Holdings losing 2.39%.

Those losses came after reports that regulators in Beijing were mulling some serious penalties for car booking app operator Didi Chuxing, with Bloomberg reporting that authorities could hand down a bigger fine than the record $2.8bn it gave Alibaba earlier in the year.

It also suggested that the regulators could force Didi to delist, after its initial public offering in June, after they alleged earlier in the month that it was misusing the personal data it collected.

"Beijing has announced Didi is facing 'unprecedented' punishment for its US IPO, which may include a fine, the suspension of some operations, or the introduction of a state investor," said analysts at Rabobank.

"In other words, the $4bn Didi just raised from the US may end up being at least partly handed over to Beijing; or as a business loss; or nationalised.

"Wall Street singularly failed to translate those evident political risks 'because markets'."

The blue-chip technology stocks were also on the back foot in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 0.5% and SK Hynix losing 0.84%.

Oil prices were little changed as the region entered the weekend, with West Texas Intermediate last trading flat at $71.91 per barrel, while Brent crude managed gains of 0.03% to $73.81.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was ahead 0.11% at 7,394.40, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 eked out gains of 0.12% to 12,736.32.

The down under dollars were in a mixed state against the greenback, with the Aussie last 0.09% weaker at AUD 1.3560, while the Kiwi strengthened 0.04% to NZD 1.4331.

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