The Hang Seng Index cleared the 21,000-point hurdle yesterday morning for the first time since early September last year but could not hold the line, as skittish investors retreated on speculation that upcoming earnings announcements could disappoint the market.
The index climbed 1.87 per cent before finishing at 20,796.43, down 10.83 points or 0.05 per cent.
HSBC Holdings surged 6.95 per cent, adding 218 points to the index, following better than expected interim results after the market close on Monday and news yesterday it had hired advisers for its planned Shanghai listing.
'Even though HSBC was good, the market still reversed direction,' said Ricky Tam Siu-hing, a director at Champlus Asset Management. 'After HSBC, a lot of blue chips will announce interim results, and most are expecting that these results won't be that good.'