Market Close: Hang Seng dips, but property stocks rise
Hang Seng swung between losses and gains on Monday as property stocks jumped on speculation more hot money was flowing into the city, while gains were capped by losses of material firms as investors started profit taking.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index dipped 1.34 points, or 0.01 per cent, to close at 23,329.75. Trading volume stood at HK$81.28 billion.
“The market is a bit over bought at the current level”, said Kingston Lin, director for the research department at Fulbright Securities. He said the further trend of the benchmark depends on whether the fourth-quarter earnings of Chinese firms could meet market estimates and whether China’s new leadership would announce exciting new measures to bolster the economy.
Hong Kong property developers were the biggest driver for the 23 per cent gain for the Hang Seng Index. The nine property developers that listed on the Hang Seng Index have gained 55 per cent in 2012 on average.
Henderson Land’s chairman Lee Shau-Kee, the Hong Kong billionaire, expected Hong Kong’s property prices to rise by up to 10 per cent this year, according to local media RTHK.
Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah on Monday said external uncertainties, especially the European sovereign debt crisis, would continue to push so-called hot money into the city as investors seek higher returns.