Hang Seng breaks through 22,000, but concerns grow over rising momentum

As stocks hit record high for 2016, analysts warn heavyweights such as mainland banks and insurers are not performing well

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 July, 2016, 9:24am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 July, 2016, 2:46pm

Hong Kong stocks closed above the technical threshold of 22,000 points for the first time this year on Thursday, with risk aversion diminishing following a rally in US and European markets , said market watchers.

The Hang Seng Index set a record high for 2016, up 0.54 per cent or 118.01 points to stand at 22,000.49 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 0.38 per cent to 9,057.08. Market turnover hit a weekly high of HK$65.28 billion.

Among the blue chips, China Mobile was the most heavily traded share and led the gains, up 3.81 per cent to HK$98 after the company saw its number of 4G mobile subscribers increase by 19.22 million in June to a total of 428.54 million at the end of the month.

Ivan Li, an equities analyst at Tung Shing Securities said the rally reflected that global aversion is tapering.

Gold-related stocks dropped as the risk-averse sentiment dissipated.

China Gold International Resources fell 4.30 per cent to HK$14.26, while Zijin Mining Group lost 0.35 per cent to HK$2.86.

Li sounded caution, however, on the rising momentum in the near future, because the heavyweight stocks such as mainland banks and insurers were not performing well.

China Construction Bank dropped 0.37 per cent to HK$5.4 while Bank of China declined 0.31 per cent to HK$3.18 despite the benchmark’s yearly high. Tencent, China’s second largest technology giant also dropped, 0.54 per cent to HK$184.60.

While local Hong Kong property developers were among the biggest gainers, with Cheung Kong Property increasing 2.15 per cent, New World Development jumping 1.72 per cent and Wharf Holdings adding 1.05 per cent.

“The low interest rate environment is expected to continue globally, as a US interest hike is now likely to be postponed. Low interest rates are beneficial to local Hong Kong property developers,” said Li from Tung Shing Securities.

Castor Pang Wai-sun, Core Pacific-Yamaichi’s head of research, said the 22,000 level is quite critical, but he was also cautious about stocks’ near-term performance, adding a sharp gain was unlikely in the coming days.

In the absence of any announcement on new stimulus measures, investors are likely to adjust sector allocations rather than inject fresh money or withdraw from the market, Pang said.

He added that the proportion of blue chips’ turnover on the main board has risen 37 per cent from roughly 30 per cent recently, reflecting investors’ preference for well-known equity names.

With the European Central Bank not expected to cut interest rates during its monthly meeting on Thursday, the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting next week is more crucial, Pang added.

Li from from Tung Shing Securities agreed, saying that he does not expect any easing monetary policies to be carried out in the near term.

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.31 per cent or 11.11 points to 3,039.01. The CSI 300 increased 0.46 per cent to 3,252.52.

The Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 0.11 per cent or 2.34 points to 2038.18while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext dropped 0.15 per cent to 2265.13.