Shares of China’s “psychic opium” companies plunge
Shares of Chinese online game companies – dubbed by the country’s media as a form of “mental opium” – fell sharply in afternoon trading on August 3.
|Tencent headquarters in Beijing, China. Photo: AFP/VNA|
In the afternoon session of August 3, shares of Tencent Technology Group listed in Hong Kong lost more than 7%, while Netease and Bilibili shares plunged 7.96% and 6.28%, respectively. Hang Seng Tech – an index that tracks the 30 largest technology companies listed in Hong Kong – on the afternoon of August 3 fell by 1.48%.
Shares of Chinese online game companies plummeted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the Economic Information Daily of Xinhua News Agency published an article with concerns about the large amount of time young people spend. are “baking” into online gaming and calling it a form of “mental opium”. This also raises concerns that online game companies will be the next target in the context of Beijing’s recent move to “tighten” technology businesses, according to the South China Morning Post.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also fell 0.32% this afternoon. Meanwhile, mainland China stocks were also “red” with the Shanghai Composite index falling 0.21% and the Shenzhen Component index sliding 0.209%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.54% while the Topix index dropped 0.45%. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia this afternoon fell 0.32%. Shares of financial technology company (fintech) Afterpay continued to attract attention when increasing by about 12%. Prior to that, Afterpay shares soared 19% in yesterday’s trading day after US fintech company Square announced it had agreed to buy Afterpay immediately, but pay later.
South Korea’s stock market today went up against the regional trend, with the Kospi index up 0.22%. Overall, the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index (excluding Japan) increased slightly by 0.22% to 662.93 points.
The Central Bank of Australia today announced its decision to keep the cash deposit rate unchanged at 0.1%. The agency, like several other central banks, is stuck with its bond-buying scheme. Many analysts expect the Central Bank of Australia to delay its plan to scale back its bond-buying campaign to maintain economic stimulus amid the blockade against the Covid-19 epidemic.
US stocks last night recorded mixed movements. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 97.31 points to 34,838.16, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.18% to 4,387.16. By contrast, the tech-biased Nasdaq Composite Index rose slightly to 14,681.07 points.
Concerns about the complicated Covid-19 epidemic weighed heavily on investor sentiment. The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on August 2 that the average number of Covid-19 infections in the past 7 days in the US had surpassed the highest level recorded last summer.
In the currency market, the US dollar index against major currencies rose to 92.017, after reduce recently fell below 92. The Japanese yen appreciated and traded at 109.16 JPY to 1 USD, compared to 109.5 JPY/USD yesterday. The Australian dollar also strengthened and changed hands for 1 AUD to “eat” $ 0.7404, from below 1 AUD / 0.735 USD yesterday.
Oil prices traded by Asian hours this afternoon slipped slightly. Brent crude futures fell to $72.83 per barrel while US crude futures fell 0.1% to $71.20 per barrel.