China stocks and ETFs drop after the US shoots down suspected spy balloon, raising tensions between the economic superpowers
The "damage has been done on the geopolitical front" between the US and China, one analyst said after the US destroyed China's high-altitude balloon.
Chinese stocks that are listed in the US and China both fell Monday following the US shooting down a suspected Chinese spy plane. This raised concerns about tensions between the largest economies of the world. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2% Monday while the CSI 300 Index (the benchmark index for the mainland) dropped 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.8%. The session saw 0.9% decline in NYSE-listed Chinese retail giant Alibaba shares. For several days, the balloon drifted over the USA before it was finally destroyed. The US attempted to salvage the wreckage and conduct an investigation but geopolitical tensions have risen between the two countries. In a Monday note, Brad Bechtel (global head of FX at Jefferies) stated that the US had cancelled [Secretary State Anthony] Blinken’s visit. After the US balloon's appearance, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken delayed a trip to Beijing. Chinese officials acknowledged that the balloon was Chinese, but claimed it was a civilian aircraft used for research and surveillance. NetEase, an online gaming company and technology maker, slumped 1.9% after the balloon's emergence in the US. The exchange-traded funds KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF lost 2.3%, while iShares MSCI China ETF fell 1.7%. The US dollar was 0.3% higher against China's currency, with 6.7949 Yuan being purchased. This trend could get worse if tensions flare up," Daniel Takieddine (CEO MENA at BDSwiss) wrote in a note. He said that the US and China had been at odds for the past few months as the US attempted to restrict China's access the cutting-edge chip technology. China claimed Monday that it had a second balloon, which it said was flying above Latin America. It is being used for civilian flight testing. "Blinken was not cancelled, but his trip was delayed." Although initial signs indicated that no retaliatory action was planned, pressure is reportedly mounting for possible, new controls to technology exports from China," Marc Chandler, managing director of Bannockburn Global Forex, wrote in a note.