Hong Kong stocks jump as Xi-Trump call soothes North Korea fears
Hang Seng Index closes 0.9 per cent higher at 24,313.5, having shed as much as 0.4 per cent in earlier trading
Hong Kong stocks enjoyed a late surge on Wednesday to erase earlier losses, after China’s President reportedly called for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean security crisis in a phone call to his American counterpart.
The Hang Seng Index shot up in the late afternoon to close 0.9 per cent higher at 24,313.5, having shed as much as 0.4 per cent at one point. The remarkable turnaround ended a four-day losing streak for Hong Kong’s benchmark index.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index also rose sharply in the afternoon advancing 0.4 per cent to 10,208.3.
“Concerns about geopolitical tensions in North Korea were to some extend relieved after the Xi-Trump call,” Linus Yip Sheung-chi, First Shanghai Securities’ chief strategist, said.
President Xi Jinping urged a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis in a phone call he made to his US counterpart Donald Trump on Wednesday, according to a report by China’s state media.
“Xi Jinping has stressed that China insists on denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula to firmly safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula and calls for peaceful means to solve problems,” the CCTV report said, summarising the conversation between Xi and Trump.
“There was obvious money inflow to large-cap stocks after the mainland market closed, but it’s quite a surprise as investors would normally hold cash in hand before holidays,” said Kenny Wen-kit, wealth management strategist at Sun Hung Kai Financial.
The Hong Kong stock market will be closed on Friday and next Monday for the Easter holidays.
Tencent Holdings, the most traded blue chip, surged 2.7 per cent to close at a new high of HK$231. China Construction Bank surged 0.5 per cent to HK$6.2 and HSBC Holdings gained 0.8 per cent to HK$64.2, its best level since mid March.
Geely Automobile Holdings was the best performer among blue chips, rising 3.7 per cent to HK$10.7.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 per cent to 3,273.8 while the CSI 300, which tracks large companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, was down 0.2 cent to 3,509.4.
The Shenzhen Component index lost 0.6 per cent to 10,587.3 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was down 1.1 per cent to 1,897.5.
Defence stocks continued to rise, while investors cheered news that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying will start his three-day visit next week in Guangdong province to study the performance of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area.
Most of the shares related to that area rose. Shenzhen Yan Tian Port Holding surged 10 per cent to 10.98 yuan. Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings, Guangdong Shirongzhaoye and Zhuhai Port Co all climbed by the maximum daily 10 per cent limit.
Stocks related to Xiongan New Area were mixed. Tianjin Port closed 10 per cent lower while cement maker BBMG Corp continued its winning streak to end 10 per cent up for a sixth consecutive day.