On Wednesday, Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC fell 9.06%. It is worth noting that, Standard Chartered has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. Moreover, it has a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. In April, Hong Kong-listed shares of Standard Chartered dropped 6.83%. It was a tough day not only for the banks but for the stocks in general.
As a reminder, the U.K. financial regulator asked British lenders to cancel dividend payments due to the coronavirus pandemic. This news affected the shares of HSBC and Standard Chartered.
In Japan, Nikkei 225 fell 4.5% to close at 18,065.41. The shares of robot maker Fanuc dropped 6.58%. Another Japanese stock index Topix fell 3.7% to end its trading day at 1,351.08.
Mainland Chinese stocks and manufacturing activity
Mainland Chinese stocks suffered losses on the first day of April. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.57% to about 2,734.52. At the same time, the Shenzhen composite decreased 0.351% to around 1,660.08.
Interestingly, Chinese stocks fell even though Chinese manufacturing activity expanded in March.
Importantly, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) for March reached 50.1. The result surpassed the expectations.
Moreover, compared with the last month of winter, this result is quite positive. As a reminder, in February stood at 40.3. It was the sharpest contraction on record. It is worth mentioning that, PMI readings below 50 signify a contraction, while figures above level indicate an expansion.
The official manufacturing PMI, the result was even higher as the index for March came in at 52.0. This result indicates that manufacturing expanded and this happened at a time when authorities around the globe are trying to soften the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, it is crucial not for China but the global economy as well to stabilize the situation as soon as possible.