Jan. 13, 2010 (Chinavestor) Shares of Chinese companies fell the most in 2010 in Asia on Wednesday as higher interest rates and tighter credit signals the start of the exit from stimulus by the Chinese government. The Hang Seng Index fell -578.04 points or -2.59% to 21,748.60 while the Shanghai Composite fell -101.31 points or -3.09%, the most since November 26, to 3,172.66 at the close. Most Chinese credit the quick economic recovery in China on the November 2008 stimulus package unleashing RMB 4 trillion ($586 billion) in construction and consumer spending. Financial markets tanked on an early exit from the stimulus and reacted with a broad sell-off. But one China stock, Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU), stole the headlines today - see our coverage in the second part of this early morning report.
Financial and real estate companies led the decline in Shanghai. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (SHA:601398), the largest Chinese financial institution, fell 4.1%. China Vanke (SHE:200002), the largest listed property developer in China shed 2.4%. Sell-off was universal in Hong Kong, too. Stocks that fell outnumbered those that advanced 8:1 out of the 44 member Hang Seng Composite Index. Only one NYSE-HKEx cross-listed China blue chips, China Mobile (HKG:0941) managed to eke out a 0.9% gain.
Looking forward, index futures point to a higher open for the NASDAQ and the S&P. This will help mitigate the negative effect from Asia for Chinese ADRs. But one company stole the story of the day: Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU). China's largest search engine company is trading $65 higher before the bell following news that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) might leave China altogether. The good news for Chinavestor Advanced Members is that BIDU was added to the "Weekly Stock Buy List" last Friday, effectively locking in on today's big gains. Scroll down on the Premium Content page for detailed description of membership benefits.
The significant split between the Chinese real estate ETF (NYSE:TAO) and global shipping ETF (NYSE:SEA) is striking, suggesting the gap is going to narrow from here. Most Chinese ETFs are in line with their underlying index; expect market sentiment to drive Chinese ADRs today.