Lack of follow-up buying deflates early promise
FUTURES led yesterday's downward trend with the October contracts closing at 9,855, a 40-point discount to the cash.
The market opened at 10,050, then fuelled by the 25-point rally on Wall Street overnight soon added 45 points in early trade.
Morning trade reached a high of 10,065 but ran out of steam due to a lack of any follow-up buying by institutions.
The morning session closed at 10,034, a 40-point premium over the cash.
Selling interest was strong in the afternoon with the October contracts continuing to drop off, reaching the day's low before the close.
The volume fell further from Thursday's, to 15,300 contracts.
For November, 1,903 contracts were traded with the close at 9,880.
Rollover was active with total turnover at $7.98 billion.
The futures led the cash market the entire day and dragged the Hang Seng Index down by 86.37 points, or 0.87 per cent, to close at 9,895.24.
Brokers regarded the dip as technical after the surge over the week and the lack of new incentives to force the index higher.
Turnover on the option market also was relatively thin with 1,716 lots traded.
Jardine Fleming said: 'Similar to the futures market, options were traded in a thin environment for most of the day. The exception was the back months' 10,200 and 10,600 call spreads which were bought by institutional traders. Otherwise most of the trades were retail in nature.' The October implied volatility exhibited a mild consolidation to 19 per cent, down 0.25 per cent, it said.
Trading of stock options dropped slightly.
The volume of options in HSBC, Cheung Kong and Swire A were 4,607, 1,206 and 363.
The futures exchange yesterday announced the launch of the remainder of the first batch of stock options next Monday. The option classes are CITIC Pacific and Hongkong Telecom.
Stock options closed out their busiest week since the launch in early September.
A total of 36,103 were traded in the three option classes during the week.
On Wednesday, 9,338 contracts were traded, the highest one-day volume since their launch.