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Hong Kong shares end 0.34% lower

HONG KONG: Hong Kong stocks shed 0.34 percent Monday on profit-taking after last week’s gains and following another batch of disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

The Hang Seng Index slipped 82.09 points to 23,915.97 on turnover of HK$64.27 billion ($8.29 billion).

Hong Kong surged in line with global markets Friday after Japan’s central bank said it would widen its asset-purchasing scheme to boost lending and try to avoid a recession.

However, dealers took their cash off the table Monday, and selling was accentuated by official data at the weekend showing Chinese manufacturing activity slowed in October.

The country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 50.8, the National Bureau of Statistics said, lower than 51.1 in September. Readings above 50 indicate growth while anything below points to contraction.

On Monday a separate report by HSBC came in a 50.4, the strongest result since July.

“Overall, the manufacturing sector continued to stabilise in October, however the sequential momentum likely weakened,” said HSBC. “The economy still shows clear signs of insufficient effective demand.”

Wall Street provided a strong lead. The Dow leapt 1.13 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.17 percent — both hitting all-time highs — while the Nasdaq gained 1.41 percent.

In Hong Kong share trading Monday China Mobile eased 0.16 percent to HK$96.35, Internet giant Tencent added 0.16 percent to HK$123.80 and HSBC dipped 0.25 percent to HK$78.65.

Property developer Greentown China Holdings jumped 5.3 percent to HK$8.50 while KWG Property Holding rose 5.8 percent to HK$5.69.

However, in mainland China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.41 percent, or 9.85 points, to 2,430.03 — its highest finish since February 2013 — on hopes the data will lead to fresh economy-boosting measures from Beijing. Turnover was 227.2 billion yuan ($36.7 billion).

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, gained 0.81 percent, or 10.88 points, to 1,361.38 on turnover of 195.2 billion yuan.

“There are strong expectations that the government may take further steps to ease its policies, but the market faced resistance after gains last week,” Central China Securities analyst Zhang Gang told AFP.

“Whether the upward momentum can extend will depend on upcoming economic figures for October,” he added.

The government will release other October statistics, including inflation and retail sales, next week.

Infrastructure-related stocks led gains on hopes they will benefit from a Chinese push to build more free trade zones following the first one in Shanghai.

Xinjiang Beixin Road & Bridge Group surged by its 10 percent daily limit to 10.78 yuan in Shenzhen while China Communications Construction jumped 9.65 percent to 5.57 yuan in Shanghai.

Property developers were mixed after a survey showed monthly declines in new home prices slowed in October from September.

Shenzhen-listed Vanke dropped 1.06 percent to 9.30 yuan. On the Shanghai market, Gemdale rose 0.63 percent to 8.01 yuan while Poly Real Estate slipped 0.17 percent to 5.76 yuan.-AFP

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