Hong Kong stocks close at new 18-month low as they fall for a fifth straight week
- Mainland Chinese stocks had a bumpy ride this week but ended the week higher after government support measures were announced
Hong Kong stocks dropped for a fifth straight week bringing the total loss for the period to 12.1 per cent, amid fears about the trade war and a downturn in the US market.
There was some relief for mainland markets, which bounced back this week after the government introduced support measures.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index closed on Friday at a fresh 18-month low 24,717.63, down 276.83 points, or 1.11 per cent. It finished the week with a 3.3 per cent decline.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, fell 1.2 per cent to 10058.63, and is down for 1.6 per cent for the whole week. It has lost 9.06 per cent during five consecutive weekly declines.
Mainland Chinese stocks had a bumpy ride this week. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surged 4.1 per cent on Monday, the most in two and a half years, after the government announced a range of measures to support the market and the economy. However, the index retreated 2.3 per cent on Tuesday.
The index dropped 0.2 per cent on Friday to 2,598.85, ending the week up by 2 per cent. That clawed back some of the 10 per cent loss it had suffered during the previous two weeks.
The CSI300 index, which track the largest stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen, closed at 3173.64, down 0.65 per cent on Friday and up 1.23 per cent on the week.
The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 7,504.72, down 0.3 per cent and up 1.6 per cent on the week having slumped 12.39 per cent over the past three weeks.
Brokers expected the market to continue to be volatile next week.
“Investors want to see what will happen next month when Chinese and US leaders meet in Argentina regarding the trade war and the import tariffs. It would depend on whether they could resolve the problem about the trade dispute for the markets to bounce back,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director at VC Asset Management.
The technology sector continued to lead the fall on Friday.
Sunny Optical, China’s biggest smartphone camera-module maker, fell to a one-year low of HK$64.40, down 11.11 per cent, making it the worst performing blue chip. This came after research houses Macquarie and Jefferies downgraded the company.
Jefferies said the downgrade was because the company was facing headwinds for its vehicle lens after its peer, O-FILM, broke into the market by acquiring the Fujifilm lens patent.
AAC Technologies Holdings closed on Friday at a one-year low of HK$56.2, down 4.75 per cent.
Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent extended declines for the week to HK$260, falling 3.4 per cent on Friday. On a weekly basis, the company has lost 7.8 per cent, its biggest weekly fall since August.
The company has fallen five weeks in a row for a combined 24.44 per cent loss after media reports saying Beijing had halted a special approval process for new video game titles, which generates the Tencent’s core earnings.
“Those tech stocks have been overpriced for quite some time. Now I think the money has switched to other stocks individually, like Tesla,” said Tse.
China Life Insurance, the country’s largest insurer, plunged 7 per cent on Friday to close at HK$15.96 after the company recorded declines of 76 per cent and 31 per cent respectively for its third quarter net profit and new business sales.