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Shares in China fall amid strongest COVID-19 lockdown yet

Residents get tested for the coronavirus at an outdoor facility on Monday in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan
Residents get tested for the coronavirus at an outdoor facility on Monday in Beijing.

Stocks in China fell sharply for a second consecutive day Tuesday as the country faces its most aggressive lockdowns yet over surging cases of COVID-19.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 5.72% on Tuesday from the previous day, its lowest point since 2016, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped nearly 5%, hitting a 52-week low. However, the Nikkei 225 Index had a slight increase of 0.15%.

Elsewhere, oil prices slid further as the Russian invasion of Ukraine pressed further into the country, including the continued shelling of the capital Kyiv ahead of another round of talks between the two sides.

China is facing its highest level of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with more than 10,000 cases since scattered across 27 provinces and municipalities since the start of this month.

The entire Chinese province of Jilin is under lockdown, as well as Langfang, in Beijing's northern Hebei province and Shenzhen and Dongguan cities, in China's south. Two other cities – Shanghai and Xi'an – have put in place some lockdown measures.

The market slide in Asia comes as inflation is at a 40-year high in the U.S. The U.S. Federal Reserve will begin two days of meetings on Tuesday to discuss interest rates.

"The Fed had been hoping that global supply chains would return to normal soon, relieving some of the upward pressure on prices.....but now China is locking down Shenzhen where Apple iPhones and other products are made for export to the U.S.," David Wessel, director of the nonprofit Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, said on NPR's Morning Edition.

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Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 NPR]