Chinese stocks fell sharply Wednesday amid concerns that the People's Bank of China will raise interest rates next week. Dealers said the Asian markets lack a major catalyst to take shares higher after the recent big runs. The perception among traders is that the upside is capped in the near term, so they will continue to book profits.
"We've kind of run out of steam," said Andrew Clarke, a sales trader with Societe Generale in Hong Kong.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 154.36 points, or 4.1%, to 3,579.15, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 651.92 points, or 2.5%, to 25,610.21.Piper Jaffray analyst Aaron Kessler downgraded Chinese travel service provider Ctrip.com International (CTRP - Get Report) from buy to neutral with a $68 price target, citing valuation. Kessler said he expects the company to barely beat estimates when it reports first-quarter earnings May 14. American depositary shares of Ctrip.com, which trade on the Nasdaq, traded down 4% to $64.12. Suntech Power (STP), a Chinese alternative energy company, announced it has inked a deal with Hanau Energies SAS to supply a 4.5MW building integrated PV systems (BIPV) to a farm located in Alsace, France. The project will be one of the largest BIPV solar systems ever built and will use Suntech's "Just Roof" modules. Shares of Suntech lost 1.3% to $43.69.