Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Hong Kong stocks end the week flat, mainland higher on gains in infrastructure, shipping sectors

Chinese football stocks rise after the national team’s surprise victory over South Korea

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 9:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 9:46pm

Hong Kong’s stock market recovered from earlier losses to end Friday’s trading largely flat, with the Hang Seng Index edging up and the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index drifting lower.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.1 per cent or 31 points to close at 24,358, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index dipped 0.1 per cent to 10,477.

China Huishan Dairy Holdings was suspended from trading in Hong Kong after it plunged 91 per cent from HK$2.80 to HK$0.42 as of 1pm Friday.

Property shares lost ground after news that Union Pay, the country’s biggest interbank payments platform, barred its mainland customers from buying homes in Hong Kong using its services, effective Friday.

Hong Kong developer New World Development shed 1.5 per cent to HK$9.8 at the close while Henderson Land lost 1.2 per cent to HK$48.3. Sino Land declined 1 per cent to HK$13.8.

Meanwhile, energy heavy weight CNOOC surged 4 per cent to close at HK$9.2 after the oil major announced a 97 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit to 637 million yuan (US$92.5 million), which still beat expectations.

The market lacks direction after some big companies reported earlier this week. The index may keep going up and down within a small range
Castor Pang, Core Pacific Yamaichi

Yingde Gases closed down 4.4 per cent to HK$6.3 after the company warned in a statement late Thursday that changes in its management might impact its financial position.

Shares of app maker Meitu rose 3.5 per cent to HK$15.5 after a volatile week. At one stage the stock was up 4.4 per cent to HK$15.6 ahead of the company’s profit announcement on Friday afternoon.

“The market lacks direction after some big companies reported earlier this week,” said Castor Pang Wai-san, head of research at Core Pacific Yamaichi. “The index may keep going up and down within a small range.”

Pang said some investors have decided to hang onto their money ahead of earnings reports by China’s five largest banks next week.

Investors are also waiting to see how American markets will react if the US Congress votes on a key health care bill on Friday, he added.

Mainland China shares edged up on Friday thanks mainly to gains in the shipping and infrastructure sectors. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 per cent, or 20 points, to 3,269 while the blue-chip CSI 300 gained 0.8 per cent, or 28 points, to 3,489 at the close.

The Shenzhen Component Index edged up 0.6 per cent, or 63 points, to 10,647 and the Nasdaq-style ChiNext added 0.9 per cent, or 17 points, to 1,965.

Football-related stocks gained after the Chinese national team’s surprise victory over South Korea in a widely watched World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.

China Sports Industry Group closed up 2.5 per cent to 19 yuan while Ledman Optoelectronic, which sponsors domestic and overseas football leagues, climbed 5 per cent to 14.6 yuan.

In New York, markets declined slightly overnight, hurt by doubts over US President Donald Trump’s ability to implement his pro-business policies after Congress delayed a crucial vote on the new health care legislation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.02 per cent lower at 20,657, while the S&P 500 retreated 0.1 per cent to 2,346. The Nasdaq dropped 0.1 per cent to 5,818.

Asian markets showed mixed performances on Friday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8 per cent to 5,753 while South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.2 per cent to 2,169. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1 per cent higher at 19,262.