Hong Kong stocks rise for a fourth week, while Shanghai shares remain under pressure
The Hang Seng Index ended in positive territory on Friday, capping an upbeat week which saw the index progressively close ground on its all-time high set in 2007
Hong Kong stocks closed on an upbeat note on Friday, extending its advance to a fourth straight week, while Shanghai shares retreated for a second week amid concerns about tightening liquidity and strengthened regulatory surveillance.
The Hang Seng Index closed the session up 0.5 per cent at 29,866.32, advancing 2.3 per cent for the week.
On Wednesday, the benchmark index ended above the 30,000 mark for the first time in 10 years.
The Hang Seng Index has soared 35 per cent so far this year to become one of the top performing markets globally, thanks in part to strong fund inflows from the mainland, said Kinger Lau, chief China equity strategist for Goldman Sachs.
He forecasts the index will rally to a new historic high of 32,000 by the end of 2018.
In other trading Friday, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-share index, ended 1.5 per cent higher at 11,908.19.
Daily turnover shrank 23 per cent from Thursday to HK$105 billion (US$13.45 billion).
Ping An Insurance jumped 3.5 per cent to HK$83.75, lifting the Hang Seng Index by 47 points, the biggest contributor of gains.
Other Chinese financial shares also advanced, with China Construction Bank rising 1.6 per cent to HK$7.01, ICBC climbing 1.1 per cent to HK$6.23, and Bank of China notching a gain of 1.1 per cent to HK$3.86.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was mired in negative territory for most time of the session, before turning higher in the final hour of trade. The index closed up 1.9 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 3,353.82.
The index tumbled 2.3 per cent on Thursday – its steepest loss this year – as traders pulled out of the year’s biggest gainers over concerns that a sell-off on the bond market and increased scrutiny of financial products will curb liquidity.
For the week, the index lost 0.9 per cent, extending a 1.5 per cent decline from the previous week.
“Tight liquidity and escalating regulatory oversight are the excuse to sell,” said Wang Zheng, chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management in Shanghai.
“The most important thing is that those institutional investors want to be the earliest to cash out of these stocks with outsize gains to be ranked among the top as the year end is coming nearer.”
The CSI 300 index advanced ess than 0.1 per cent at 4,104.2.
The Shenzhen Composite Index and the start-up board ChiNext both settled lower, down 0.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively at 1,922.72 and 1,782.66.
Combined turnover for the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets decreased more than 20 per cent from Thursday to 440 billion yuan (US$66.64 billion).
Liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai dropped for a sixth consecutive session, easing 0.6 per cent to 630.04 yuan.
ZTE, China’s biggest publicly traded maker of telecom equipment, fell 1.6 per cent to 38.18 yuan. The stock has surged 139 per cent this year to become the second best performer on the CSI 300.
China Shenhua Energy, the nation’s biggest coal producer, fell 2.4 per cent to 23.05 yuan.