SHANGHAI - China stocks fell on Wednesday as trading resumed after a long weekend, with sentiment hit by the country's most severe COVID wave since the Wuhan outbreak and a survey showing services activity contracted at the steepest pace in two years in March.
The CSI300 index fell 0.5% to 4,256.43 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,275.45.
The Hang Seng index dropped 1.4% to 22,181.86. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to 7,653.15.
** The Caixin services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which focuses more on small firms in coastal regions, dived to 42.0 in March from 50.2 in February, as the surge in coronavirus cases restricted mobility and weighed on client demand.
** "Global investors should be paying more attention to China's lockdowns," Nomura analysts said in a note.
** Some 23 Chinese cities are under total or partial lockdown, affecting an estimated 193 million people in areas accounting for 22% of China gross domestic product, according to Nomura's own survey.
** Tourism and transport stocks lost 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively, as the number of journeys taken over China's Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday tumbled by nearly two-thirds from last year.
** Semiconductors slumped 3.4%, new energy shares dropped 2.8%, and consumer staples retreated 1.1%.
** However, real estate developers jumped 2.9% and banks added 1.4% on expectations of more stimulus to support the economy.
** Mainland China reported 1,415 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 19,199 new asymptomatic cases on April 5.
** U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said on Tuesday she expected a combination of interest rate increases and a rapid balance sheet runoff to bring U.S. monetary policy to a "more neutral position" later this year.
** Tech giants listed in Hong Kong lost 3.2%, after jumping 5.4% in the previous session as China gives concession in audit dispute.
** Food delivery giant Meituan lost 2.8%, while e-commerce giant Alibaba Group tumbled 4.1%.
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)