Hong Kong shares slide as China summons gaming firms, Evergrande plunges

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SHANGHAI — Hong Kong stocks headed for their worst day in almost three weeks on Thursday as tech shares tumbled on China’s tightening oversight on gaming companies, while China Evergrande Group plunged on concerns of its financial woes.

** Chinese banking and property shares fell, while resources shares jumped to six-year highs on higher factory inflation.

** Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.6%, to 25,898.67 points by midday, on course for its biggest one-day drop since Aug. 20. The Hang Seng tech Index tumbled more than 3%.

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** In China, the CSI300 index fell 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1%.

** Hong Kong-listed gaming and media stocks including Tencent Holdings and NetEase fell sharply after authorities summoned them and other gaming firms to ensure they implemented new rules for the sector.

** Property stocks also dropped, as indebted developer Evergrande’s shares slumped over 9% to a fresh six-year low.

** Concerns over Evergrande’s financial health deepened amid a slew of rating downgrades, and after financial intelligence provider REDD reported on Wednesday that the company plans to suspend interest payments due on loans to two banks on Sept. 21.

** Further denting sentiment were remarks from several U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, who signaled on Wednesday that monetary tapering could still start this year despite a slowdown in jobs growth in August and the impact of the recent COVID-19 resurgence.

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** In China, an index tracking resources shares jumped more than 3% to a six-year high after data showing China’s factory gate inflation hit a 13-year high in August, driven by roaring raw materials prices.

** Chinese shares seen with links to “Metaverse,” a virtual shared space based on virtual reality technologies, slumped, after their recent surge raised regulatory eyebrows and prompted state media to warn against investing in them.

** Wondershare Technology and Wahlap Technology both slumped over 10%, while Goertek lost over 8%. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)