Hong Kong choppy as investors seek profits, but rising momentum remains

Hang Seng ends 0.12 per cent ahead at 22,492.43 after hitting eight-month high in morning trade

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 9:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2016, 4:34pm

Hong Kong stocks nudged higher on Wednesday amid choppy trading with investors seeking profits from a barrage of corporate earnings.

The Hang Seng Index closed slightly higher, up 0.12 per cent or 26.82 points to 22,492.43 after its hit a eight-month high level of 22,558.45 at noon.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-shares index, gained 0.15 per cent or 14.33 points at 9,315.50. The turnover of Hong Kong markets reached HK$61.25 billion.

“It is reasonable to see market fluctuation amid the results season,” said Linus Yip Sheung-chi, First Shanghai Securities chief strategist.

“Different companies will lead market losses or gains, following their profit performance, but the benchmark index will keep on an upward trend.

“The rising momentum for Hong Kong stocks still remains in August, but the increasing pace is expected to slow,” Yip added.

“The Shenzhen–Hong Kong Stock Connect is expected to launch this year and investors will ride on the issue to lift the share prices of some Hong Kong-listed small and medium sized companies.”

Wang Chong, an analyst at Victory Securities agreed, adding that, the Hang Seng Index had been “relatively strong recently, as US economic data beat market expectations and ignited risk-on sentiment”.

“However, trading volumes have remained thin, and H-shares have underperformed, due to the weakness in A-share markets,” he added.

Heavily traded Hong Kong shares had a mixed day on Wednesday, with banking and casino sectors gaining while local property developers leading the loss.

China Construction Bank led the gains among the top five active shares, jumping 1.28 per cent to

HK$5.54,while Industrial & Commercial Bank of China adding 1.31 per cent to HK$ 4.64.

Casino operators recorded an overall rise, with Sands China gaining the most in two months, jumping 5.19 per cent to HK$ 32.45. Galaxy Entertainment Group rallied 3.4 per cent to HK$ 27.35.

A gauge of real estate companies, however, slid the most among industry groups, after climbing to a one-year high earlier this week.

Hong Kong real estate company Wharf Holdings, closed 1.88 per cent to HK$ 52.20 after posting a decline in net income. Hang Lung Properties slumped 1.86 per cent to HK$ 16.92 and New World Development dropped 1.07 per cent to HK$ 9.26. While, Cheung Kong Property Holdings, which is controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, added 1.58 per cent to HK$57.80. The company is due to release half-year results on Thursday.

MTR, Hong Kong’s railway operator and a property developer, headed for its biggest loss in almost three months, slumping 3.68 per cent to close HK$41.90 after reporting lower underlying profit.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the city’s sole bourse operator, closed 0.98 per cent lower to HK$192.10 after reporting that its second quarter net profit declined 38 per cent year-on-year to HK$1.56 billion on lower securities and commodities trading.

In the mainland, stocks nudged lower, with the Shanghai Composite Index closing down 0.23 per cent to 3,018.74 on Wednesday. The large-cap CSI300 slipped 0.42 per cent to 3,243.34. The Shenzhen Composite Index was down 0.33 per cent or 6.50 points at 1,976.16. The startup board ChiNext Index shed 0.81 per cent or 17.50 points to 2137.0.