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Hong Kong shares at over 1-year low on Omicron, tech regulatory concerns

11/30/2021 | 04:03am EST

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares finished down on Tuesday to a more than one-year low, after U.S. drugmaker Moderna set off fresh alarm bells about the Omicron variant, with tech firms dragging down the Hang Seng Index as regulatory concerns spooked investors.

The Hang Seng index was down 1.6% at 23,475.26, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to 8,368.49 points.

** For the month, the Hang Seng index dropped 2.5% while the China Enterprises Index declined 2.4%.

** Hong Kong shares extended losses in afternoon trade after the head of Moderna told the Financial Times that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as they have been against the Delta variant.

** The Hang Seng Tech Index lost 1.2%.

** "Uncertainties in the tech sector haven't fully receded in the short term as some firms were fined recently," said David Huang, senior investment srategist at AllianceBernstein.

** "But it doesn't mean those firms will not have opportunities in the future, as the society still needs them," said Liang Zhu, chief investment officer at AllianceBernstein.

** Zhu added that investors require a higher risk premium for the shares, so their prices should be corrected to a more reasonable range.

** Alibaba's HK shares fell 2.1% to their lowest since listing. Fellow online giant Tencent slipped 0.7% and food delivery company Meituan extended Monday's tumble by another 2.9% to hit an almost eight-week low.

** Macau gambling firm Suncity Group Holdings Ltd's shares almost halved in resumed trade after CEO Alvin Chau was arrested on Sunday. Investors also feared that the gaming sector might be drifting into the authorities' crosshairs.

** Casino operators Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Macau also extended losses. This year, HK-listed gambling stocks have lost more than 40%.

(Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
GALAXY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED 2.25% 45.5 End-of-day quote.12.62%
MEITUAN 11.01% 238 End-of-day quote.5.59%
MODERNA, INC. -1.19% 172 Delayed Quote.-31.46%
SANDS CHINA LTD. 2.68% 21.05 End-of-day quote.15.91%
SUNCITY GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.00% 0.108 End-of-day quote.-14.29%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED 3.47% 471.6 End-of-day quote.3.24%
WYNN MACAU, LIMITED 3.03% 7.49 End-of-day quote.17.58%
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