Hong Kong shares end lower, Chinese banks sink ahead of economic data
Hong Kong shares slipped on Thursday, led by the Chinese banking sector as early gains from resolution of the US debt crisis gave way to anxiety about China economic data due on Friday.
The Hang Seng Index finished down 0.6 per cent at 23,094.9 points. It had closed on Tuesday at its highest since September 23 and fell 0.5 per cent on Wednesday.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also shed 0.6 per cent.
Chinese banks were also hurt by Everbright Bank’s plan to push ahead with a third attempt in as many years at listing in Hong Kong. The move created some unease that more Chinese mid- and small-sized commercial lenders will seek to raise funds.
Beijing is due to release September data for industrial output, retail sales and urban investment on Friday. Third-quarter GDP figures are also due out.
China’s annual economic growth is forecast to have quickened in the quarter after slowing through the first half of the year, but the pick-up is expected to be short-lived as the government pushes on with its reform agenda.