China stocks halt advance as Apple warns on sales target
Tuesday, February 18, 2020       13:27 WIB

February 18, 2020 / 12:03 PM
* SSEC -0.4%, CSI300 -0.9%, HSI -1.4%, HSCE -1.3%
* Apple may miss sales target after China shutdown
* Hong Kong pledges more spending to tackle epidemic
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG ,(Reuters) - China stocks fell on Tuesday, after tech giant Apple flagged it was unlikely to meet its quarterly sales outlook as the coronavirus outbreak slowed production and weakened demand in the country.
At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4% at 2,972.02 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.9%.
In the previous session, both indexes erased losses from the sharp plunge two weeks ago, when fears of the coronavirus outbreak wiped out $700 billion of market capitalisation.
CSI300's financial sector sub-index lost 1.1%, the consumer staples sector fell 0.7%, the real estate index dropped 2.1% and the healthcare sub-index was down 0.6%.
Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 1.3%, while the Hang Seng Index was down 1.4% at 27,581.19.
The smaller Shenzhen index rose 0.2% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was trading 0.3% firmer.
The economic fallout from the epidemic spread to U.S. technology titan Apple, which warned of iPhone shortages and lower-than-expected revenue in the first quarter.
Manufacturing facilities in China that produce Apple's iPhone and other electronics have begun to reopen, but they are ramping up more slowly than expected, the company said. Apple is one of the largest global firms to be affected by the outbreak.
Closer home, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the government would increase handouts to tackle the outbreak to HK$28 billion ($3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously.
The number of new coronavirus infections in mainland China fell below 2,000 on Tuesday for the first time since January, although global experts warn it is still too early to say the outbreak is being contained.
In a note on Tuesday, Bohai Securities warned that policymakers, whose support investors bet on and drove stocks higher in the past two sessions, would be constrained by the risk of inflation.
Around the region, MSCI 's Asia ex-Japan stock index dropped 1%, while Japan's Nikkei index was down 1.5%.
At 0354 GMT, the yuan was 0.18% weaker at 6.9942 per U.S. dollar.
The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Sino-Agri Leading Biosciences Co Ltd, down 7.7%, followed by Zhejiang Jiaao Enprotech Stock Co Ltd, and Hailir Pesticides and Chemicals Group Co Ltd, both lost 7.2%.
So far this year, the Shanghai stock index dropped 2.6%, while the CSI300 index was down 1.3%.
At midday, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.57% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Sumber : Reuters