China stock market

Hong Kong stocks pare gains to close just above 30,000 as Ping An, Tencent retreat

Ping An Insurance and Tencent pull back from record highs, but still see their shares more than double in value this year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 9:05am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 7:01pm

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index trimmed early gains, but still held onto the 30,000 threshold by Wednesday’s close, as Ping An Insurance and Tencent both pulled back from record highs after a recent surge.

The Hang Seng Index jumped above 30,000 at open, the first time cracking the level since November 2007. It briefly hit a daily high of 30,199.69 in the morning, before paring gains and closing at 30,003.49, up 0.6 per cent, or 185.42 points, from the previous day. It was also the best closing level since November 5, 2007.

Hong Kong market’s daily turnover reached HK$158 billion, slightly higher than Tuesday’s HK$157 billion.

While banking and energy stocks rallied, Ping An Insurance and Tencent Holdings dragged heavily on the Hang Seng Index, contributing to a combined loss of 60 points in the index.

Ping An tumbled 2.4 per cent to close at HK$84.10, after touching an all-time high of HK$87.10 in the morning. It has halted a four-day bull streak.

Tencent also retreated after four straight days of gains, down 0.7 per cent to end at HK$426.80.

Still, both stocks have increased more than two folds this year.

In the meantime, the banking sector advanced broadly, helping lift the Hang Seng Index to a higher close.

HSBC rose 1.8 per cent to HK$76.95, China Construction Bank gained 1.6 per cent to HK$7.01, and ICBC added 1.6 per cent to HK$6.33.

HKEX, the bourse operator, jumped 3.8 per cent to HK$254.20, after Morgan Stanley hiked the target price for the stock to HK$270 from HK$190, citing higher trading volumes on increased money flows from mainland China.

“The recent rally [of the Hang Seng Index] has been boosted by big-cap blue chips or industry leaders,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist for First Shanghai Securities.

Nonetheless, he said underperforming stocks had outnumbered outperformers in the past few days, indicating that the market was divided.

“We have to closely watch if the money will switch to other lagging sectors from big caps, which will be the key to whether the market could rise further. ”

We have to closely watch if the money will switch to other lagging sectors from big caps, which will be the key to whether the market could rise further
Linus Yip, First Shanghai Securities

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index finished up 0.6 per cent at 3,430.46. The CSI 300 Index of big-cap shares edged up 0.2 per cent to 4,227.57.

However, the Shenzhen Composite Index and the start-up board index ChiNext fell 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively to 1,982.28 and 1,853.38.

Airline shares rose, as China Southern Airlines jumped 6.6 per cent to 11.09 yuan, China Eastern Airlines rose 4.7 per cent to 7.4 yuan, and Air China gained 3.1 per cent to 11.45 yuan.

Combined turnover for Shanghai and Shenzhen markets reached 566.6 billion yuan, slightly higher than Tuesday’s 563 billion yuan.