Focus on China – Fall of the Bluechips; Alibaba’s Ant Group Seeks Majority Stake in 2C2P; e-com companies summoned
The Chinese yuan weakened on Tuesday as expectations of sharp rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve boosted the dollar, but moderating expectations of aggressive easing by China’s central bank helped limit losses.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, hit new two-year highs on Tuesday and last stood at 100.935, as benchmark U.S. Treasury yields fell. were near their highest since the end of 2018.
Despite the dollar’s strength, the People’s Bank of China set the daily midpoint for the yuan slightly firmer at 6.372 to the dollar before market open, from 6.3763 on Monday.
The spot yuan opened at 6.3700 to the dollar and was changing hands at 6.3719 midday, 53 pips lower than Monday’s late close.
Shanghai shares rise, Bluechip falls
China’s blue chips fell on Tuesday, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained after authorities pledged to support the economy hit by the country’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years.
The CSI300 index fell 0.4% to 4,150.28 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai index gained 0.1% to 3,199.30.
The Hang Seng index fell 1.9% to 21,111.61.
The Hong Kong Chinese Enterprise Index fell 2.4% to 7,208.93.
China urges politicians to support restaurant, retail sectors
China’s state planner called on Tuesday for the implementation of supportive policies for the country’s restaurant and retail sectors.
Spending on new energy vehicles should also be buoyed, said Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission.
Monday’s data showed March retail sales contracted the most on a yearly basis since April 2020 due to widespread COVID-19 restrictions across the country.
Ant Group becomes the majority shareholder in the 2C2P payment platform
Ant Group, the fintech unit of China’s Alibaba Group, is set to become the majority investor in Singapore-based payments platform 2C2P in a partnership, the companies announced on Monday.
The agreement will lead to the integration of Ant’s Alipay+ payment service with the 2C2P platform used by merchants in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Americas.
Over the years, Ant has strengthened its presence in Southeast Asia by investing in and partnering with fintechs, and recently appointed a managing director for the region to accelerate its growth outside of China.
“Through this complementary partnership with Ant Group, 2C2P will be connected to a much broader merchant base and will be well positioned to drive forward our international expansion strategy,” said Aung Kyaw Moe, Founder and CEO of 2C2P, in a statement. communicated.
Shanghai regulator summons e-commerce platforms
The Shanghai market regulator said on Monday it had summoned 12 e-commerce platforms, including Meituan and eleme.me, over topics including rising prices during the outbreak.
The platforms have been urged to improve their management of delivery people and put an end to behaviors such as inappropriate passenger price increases, the regulator said on its WeChat account.
(With contributions from Reuters)