SHANGHAI, June 22 (Reuters) - Mainland Chinese shares ended
lower on Wednesday, as extreme weather in some parts of the
country added uncertainty to economic recovery from COVID-19
shocks, while signs of fresh crackdown on tech firms and the
platform economy hurt the Hong Kong market.
** At the market close, the Shanghai Composite Index
closed down 1.2% at 3,267.2 points, while the blue-chip CSI 300
index lost 1.27% to 4,270.62.
** The financial sector sub-index edged down 1.48%,
the consumer staples sector eased 0.54%, while the
real estate index fell 1.65%.
** Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 2.56% to
21,008.34 points at the close, while the Hong Kong China
Enterprises Index lost 2.84%.
** Heat waves in northern and central China drove up electricity
demand to record levels as millions switched on air conditioners
to escape the sweltering conditions, while floodwaters in the
south submerged villages and trapped city residents.
** While some investors were worried that the flood could prompt
supply chain disruptions, a latest UBS survey of 507 senior
corporate executives conducted in April and May showed that
COVID disruptions have caused more negative impact on business
than that in 2021, the bank said in a note.
** "Respondents reported softer outlook in H2/2022 with
expectation for slower sales growth, lower profit margin, weaker
domestic and export orders."
** Some traders and analysts said markets will pay close
attention to June economic indicators to gauge the pace of
economic recovery, after the financial hub of Shanghai lifted
its two-month long lockdown at the start of this month.
** In Hong Kong, shares snapped a three-day rally, pressured by
fresh investor worries over a clampdown on tech firms, while
global growth prospects, stubbornly high inflation and tighter
financial conditions also hurt sentiment.
** The tech sector was among the biggest loser, with Hang Seng
Tech Index plunging 4.37%, after regulators sought
public consultation on potentially banning third-party
pharmaceutical e-commerce platforms from online drug sales.
** Shares of pharmaceutical e-commerce platform operator Alibaba
Health Information Technology Ltd closed down 13.85%
at HK$4.79, and its rival JD Health International Inc
tumbled 14.84% to HK$53.4.
** Separately, Hong Kong-listed Chinese live streaming services
providers also tumbled after Chinese regulators rolled out fresh
measures regulating the industry. Shares of Kuaishou Technology
lost 4.08% to HK$82.35 at the close.
** Market participants will monitor U.S. Federal Reserve chair
Jerome Powell's testimony to Congress later in the session, with
investors looking for further clues about whether another
75-basis-point rate hike is on the cards in July.
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich and