Hong Kong stocks close below 30,000 as Shanghai shares fall most in a year

More than 2,800 stocks fall in the A-share market amid stricter financial rules

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 9:09am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 6:36pm

Hong Kong stocks pulled back from a 10-year high on Thursday to close below the 30,000 mark, after Shanghai shares dropped the most in a year amid concerns about tightening scrutiny of internet financing, with more than 2,800 shares falling.

The Hang Seng Index ended down 1 per cent, or 295.55 points, at 29,707.94, halting a five-day bull run. On Wednesday, it jumped above the 30,000 level for the first time in a decade.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-share index, fell 1.9 per cent to 11,737.06.

Daily turnover decreased 13 per cent to HK$136 billion (US$17.5 billion), from Wednesday’s HK$157 billion.

“Hong Kong stocks may consolidate around the 30,000 level,” said Louie Shum, chief executive officer of Sincere Securities. “The A share market declined today because of concerns surrounding tighter regulations towards internet financing.”

Tencent Holdings, which has the biggest weighting on the Hang Seng Index, was responsible for the loss of 63 points. The stock fell 1.7 per cent to HK$419.6.

Ping An Insurance tumbled 3.8 per cent to HK$80.9, dragging the index lower by 53 points.

Other Chinese financial shares also retreated, with ICBC falling 2.7 per cent to HK$6.16, China

Construction Bank down 1.6 per cent to HK$6.9, and China Merchants Bank off 4.1 per cent to HK$31.95.

Still, some Hong Kong property developers gained. Sun Hung Kai Properties added 1.3 per cent to HK$129, and CK Hutchison Holdings gained 0.5 per cent to HK$99.1.

On the mainland, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined 2.3 per cent, or 78.54 points, to finish at 3,351.92, reflecting the steepest daily percentage decrease since December 2016.

Among the 3,400 stocks in the A-share market, more than 2,800 closed in negative territory.

The start-up board index, ChiNext, tumbled 3.2 per cent to close at 1,794.78.

The large-cap CSI index also finished 3 per cent lower at 4,102.4, and the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 2.9 per cent to 1,924.45.

Combined turnover for Shanghai and Shenzhen markets shrank about 2 per cent to 554.5 billion yuan (US$84.2 billion) from Wednesday.

Ping An Insurance’s A-share sank 4 per cent to 74.32 yuan in Shanghai. Kweichow Moutai, China’s biggest distiller of traditional fierce liquor baijiu, slid 2.6 per cent to 633.73 yuan, down for a fifth consecutive day.