Hong Kong stocks end the week on a positive note, shrugging off North Korea threat

The Hang Seng Index registers a 0.5 per cent advance for the week

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 9:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 9:53pm

Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Friday, bringing its weekly gain to 0.5 per cent, as investors shrugged off North Korea’s latest missile launch.

Mainland Chinese stocks retreated on the back of weak August economic data.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 per cent, or 30.39 points, to 27,807.59. The benchmark has consolidated between 26,400 and 28,100 over the past two months, having surged more than 25 per cent since the beginning of this year.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-share index, dropped 0.3 per cent, or 33.59 points, to 11,067.55. Daily turnover stood at HK$117.8 billion, up 21 per cent from Thursday.

“Market sentiment remains relatively supported, despite the North Korea missile launch,” said Alex Wong Kwok-ying, director at Ample Finance.

Pyongyang’s latest missile was fired over Japan on Friday, the second in two months, following its sixth nuclear test on September 3.

Mainland property developers led the advance, as official government data showed housing sales and investment remained among the country’s few areas of growth acceleration in August.

The property subindex rose 0.6 per cent, contributing 240 points to the Hang Seng Index.

Sunac China jumped 12.4 per cent, having surged fourfold since the beginning of this year. Country Garden rose 6.1 per cent, bringing its advance for the year to 212 per cent. Evergrande added 3.7 per cent, and China Overseas gained 2 per cent.

China’s dominant offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC rose 2.7 per cent, after announcing that it will end the feasibility study for its liquid natural gas terminal in British Columbia as global commodity prices remain low.

Meanwhile, banks and insurers declined broadly, with index heavyweight HSBC down 0.5 per cent, dragging 15 points from the Hang Seng Index. China Construction Bank dropped 0.3 per cent, and Hang Seng Bank slid 0.4 per cent.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined amid weaker-than-expected August economic data. Macquarie forecasts China’s GDP growth to slow to 6.7 per cent in the second half from 6.9 per cent in the first half following the release of weaker-than-expected China data on Thursday.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 per cent, or 17.81 points, to a 20-day low of 3,353.62. The CSI 300 – which tracks large companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – edged up 0.04 per cent, or 1.34 points, to 3,831.3.

The Shenzhen Composite Index slid 0.3 per cent, or 5.54 points, to 1,987.99, while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was down 0.2 per cent, or 3.62 points, to 1,875.63.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s benchmark Kospi added 0.4 per cent, and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 per cent. Sydney All Ordinaries dropped 0.7 per cent.