Stock Talk

Market Wrap: Hang Seng rises first time in four days on fiscal cliff talks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 4:36pm

The Hang Seng gained for the first time in four tradings days on Thursday, as optimism that the US may soon strike a deal to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff” problem in the US offset the impact of a continued slump in A-shares.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell by 213.91 points, or 0.99 per cent, to finish at 21,922.89 as turnover rose to HK$54.46 billion compared with a 30-day average of around HK$53 billion.

Future Land Development (1030.HK) finished at HK$1.47, compared with an IPO price of HK$1.45 in its trading debut on Thursday.

“We believe that some kind of deal is likely to be reached that will avert the automatic spending cuts and tax increases,” said Steven Walsh, chief investment officer at Western Asset Management, when talking about the likelihood of a solution for fiscal cliff issue.

Li & Fung (0494.HK), a supplier of toys and clothes to Wal-Mart Stores, added 1.95 per cent to finish at HK$12.58.

“This will mean countless deals, but at least they will be looking to resolve the issues,” said Isaac Souede, chief executive and chief Investment strategist at the Permal Group. “Now it must be about how Obama and Congress gets there [makes a compromise]. And when they get there, and the earlier the better; a process that may well take six months from start to finish.”

China’s A-shares continue to be sluggish, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling for the fourth straight day dragged by brokerages after local media reported that Chinese fund managers are cutting service fees paid to brokers by as much as 20 per cent.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.51 per cent to finish at 1963.49.

Geely (0175.HK) lost 1.12 per cent after Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area is said to have sold 720 million shares in the company at HK$3.3 apiece.

Another stock hit by shareholder sell-off was Sunac China (1918.HK) on Thursday, losing 2.06 per cent to finish at HK$4.75 after Bain Capital is said to have sold 120 million shares in the firm.