Hong Kong shares close down 0.12pc

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 2:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 6:39pm

Hong Kong shares ended 0.12 per cent lower Thursday as profit-taking and concerns about China’s slowing economy offset soothing comments from the US Federal Reserve chief about its stimulus programme.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index eased 26.65 points to 21,345.22 on turnover of HK$45.78 billion.

Shanshui Cement shares logged their biggest one-day drop since late 2008 after warning late on Wednesday of a fall in first-half profit.

Chinese shares closed down 1.05 percent on worries over the slowing domestic economy.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 21.52 points to 2,023.40 on turnover of 76.6 billion yuan (HK$96.3 billion).

In comments released Wednesday, China’s finance minister Lou Jiwei said the government would not introduce big stimulus policies this year.

He was speaking on July 11 at annual talks with the United States, but the speech was widely reported by state newspapers on Thursday.

“The remarks on stimulus policies had a certain impact on the market, which will likely remain range-bound in the near term,” Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing said.

Financial shares extended losses.

Industrial Bank lost 4.06 percent to 9.69 yuan, New China Life Insurance dropped 3.57 percent to 22.40 yuan and Haitong Securities fell 2.90 percent to 10.38 yuan.

Property stocks also fell. Poly Real Estate lost 2.09 per cent to 10.78 yuan, while Zhejiang Guangsha slid 1.28 per cent to 3.09 yuan.