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HONG KONG: China and Hong Kong stocks closed lower on Wednesday, as producer prices’ fall for the first time since December 2020 underscored faltering domestic demand amid COVID-19 curbs, with investors awaited US inflation data and midterm poll results.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index ended down 0.93 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.53 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 1.2 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.21 percent.

Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday, with eyes on US midterm election results and a major inflation update due later in the week. China’s October producer price index (PPI) fell 1.3 percent year-on-year from 0.9 percent gain a month earlier, official data showed, compared with a forecast of a 1.5 percent contraction in a Reuters poll. The consumer price index climbed 2.1 percent from a year earlier, slower than the 2.4 percent forecast by analysts.

South-bound trading via Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect saw HK$694 million ($88.41 million) of outflow after 24 days of consecutive inflows.

Millions of residents of China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou will be required to have COVID-19 tests on Wednesday, authorities said, in an effort to control the city’s worst outbreak with infections topping 2,000 for two consecutive days.

The self-regulatory body of China’s interbank market said it will expand bond financing for private firms, including developers, with support from the central bank.

Internet stocks and the photovoltaic solar power sector, down 2 percent each, led declines among mainland A-shares.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index rose 4.3 percent, while Hang Seng Tech dropped 1.9 percent, dragging the broader market.

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