Hong Kong robust, driven by strong profit earnings
Market turnover on Hong Kong’s main board reached HK$76.3 billion, slightly lower than Wednesday’s HK$78.6 billion
Hong Kong stocks remained robust on Thursday, continuing four days of gains, driven by the release of some strong corporate earnings, and concerns on of so-called “paring risk”, ahead of any of an impending national holiday.
Hong Kong and mainland stock markets will shut on Monday for the Labour Day holiday. Markets in Hong Kong will also close on Wednesday for a separate public holiday.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng index reversed its early losses to close 0.5 per cent or 120.1 points higher at 24,698.5 while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was down 0.6 per cent or 56.4 points to 10,261.3.
Market turnover in Hong Kong main board reached HK$76.3 billion, slightly lower than Wednesday’s HK$78.6 billion.
Insurer AIA led the gainers among 50 HSI components, rising 6.3 per cent to HK$54.5 after reporting its volume of new business for the three months to the end of February increased 55 per cent on year to US$884 million. Ping An Insurance Group added 1.0 per cent to HK$44 and Prudential 2.0 per cent to close at HK$172.1.
Banks also joined the rally to outperform on Thursday. Standard Chartered Bank led the sector, up
4.8 per cent to trade at HK$75.5 after its London shares rose 3.5 per cent to £7.53 (HK$75.06) overnight after the bank reported a better than expected first quarter pre-tax profit of US$1 billion. HSBC added 0.5 per cent to close at HK$ 64.4.
Macau casino operators declined on Thursday after rallying the previous trading days on expectation of casino revenue increase. Sands China was the sector’s biggest loser in 50 HSI components, down 3.5 per cent to close at HK$35.6 while Galaxy Entertainment Group followed to close 2.6 per cent lower at HK$43.
“Corporate earnings announcements in the coming days would likely be the main factor to determine individual stocks’ performance,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of VC Asset Management.
“However, investors tend to avoid investment ahead of a long holiday. The market is likely to be quiet for the remainder of this week ahead of a long holiday next week.” Ben Kwong Man-bun, director of KGI Asia also warned over “paring risk” before the public holiday.
“The market has rallied for some time in Hong Kong and investors sitting on gains would like to take profit before the long holiday ahead,” Kwong said.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 per cent to 3,152.2 while the CSI 300 added 0.04 per cent to 3,446.7. The Shenzhen Component Index added 0.2 per cent to 10,229.2, and the Shenzhen Composite was up 0.5 per cent to 1,900 and the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was flat at 6,642.1.
On Wall Street, all three major US indexes closed little changed on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing 0.1 per cent lower at 20,975.09 and the S&P 500 easing down 0.05 per cent at 2,387.45. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite was nearly unchanged at 6,025.23.