China stock market

Hong Kong stocks rise for first time in six sessions as financials gain and Wynn Macau surges

Tech stocks also help the Hang Seng higher, while in China benchmark indices fall as energy and bank shares lose ground

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 February, 2018, 9:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 February, 2018, 8:52pm

Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday for the first time in six trading days, as investors took advantage of lower prices from the recent sharp falls, with financials and tech firms leading the gains and casino operator Wynn Macau bouncing back after the resignation of its chairman.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 per cent, or 128.07 points, to close at 30,451.27 after shedding 7.8 per cent over the past five sessions. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share gauge, retreated 0.4 per cent, however. Turnover shrank to HK$149.2 billion (US$19.1 billion), 8 per cent lower than the daily average this year, according to Bloomberg data.

“The market has sold down heavily over the past few days: bulls have had heavy losses so they have had to sell stock to compensate,” said Louis Tse Ming-Kwong, managing director at VC Asset Management.

“The market is very oversold. I think quite a few retail investors want to accumulate before the Lunar New Year next week. They have nothing to lose.”

Financial stocks contributed most of the strength to the Hang Seng. AIA Group rose 1.9 per cent to HK$61.95, accounting for a third of the gain on the benchmark. HSBC Holdings added 0.6 per cent to HK$80.50 and stock market operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing rose 1.2 per cent to HK$271.

Technology companies also gained, with Tencent Holdings up 1.3 per cent to HK$420.20 and AAC Technologies putting on 3.5 per cent to HK$143.90.

Wynn Macau surged 8 per cent to HK$27 as the stock resumed trading after being suspended on Wednesday. US casino magnate Steve Wynn stepped down as chairman of the company over sexual abuse allegations.

“The key main risk for Wynn Macau has been removed now, so the market will feel relieved and we may see some technical rebound,” said Stanley Chan, director of research at Emperor Securities. “Investors will focus on the fundamentals of the casino business and the gambling industry in Macau.”

Mainland Chinese stocks fell to a six-month low as energy and banking shares tumbled. The sectors had been the best-performing ones so far this year. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.4 per cent, or 47.21 points, to 3,262.05, extending losses to 6.5 per cent over three sessions and the CSI 300 Index of large companies slid 1 per cent. However the ChiNext gauge of smaller firms climbed 1.6 per cent.

Yanzhou Coal Mining tumbled 6.1 per cent to 16.39 yuan and Shaanxi Coal Industry slid 5.6 per cent to 9.11 yuan. China Citic Bank shed 6.5 per cent to 7.25 yuan while China Life Insurance lost 5.4 per cent to 28.75 yuan.

Leshi Internet Information & Technology, which is mired in financial problems due to debts owed to it by its controlling shareholder and his affiliates, rose for the first time since the stock resumed trading on January 24, with investors betting that the worst is over for the company and all the bad news is factored into the price.

The shares gained 5.4 per cent to 5.08 yuan after falling by the 10 per cent daily limit over each of the past 11 sessions.