Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Hong Kong stocks continue to rally with third straight record close

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 9:19am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 10:25pm

Hong Kong stocks set a record closing high for a third day straight on Thursday as Chinese GDP data for 2017 came in higher than the official target for the world’s second largest economy.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.43 per cent to 32,121.94, beating the previous all-time high of 31,983 set on Wednesday, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, advanced 1.76 per cent to 13,094.92.

“There will be a lot of seesawing at this level of 32,000, that is the only thing I worry about,” said Louis Tse Ming-Kwong, managing director at VC Asset Management. But there is still room for the market to go up, he added. “There will be heavy gains with the Lunar New Year coming up – people will be busy profit taking, they will want to cash in and have a nice new year.”

China’s economy expanded 6.9 per cent last year, up from 6.7 per cent in 2016 which was its weakest pace in 26 years, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday afternoon. The figure matched Premier Li Keqiang’s forecast earlier this month and was higher than the official target of 6.5 per cent.

Markets had already started to account for this level of growth in light of Premier Li’s prediction, said Tse.

“There will be a temporary consolidation and then the mainland market will go up again,” he said, predicting a good performance from Chinese banks in the coming months.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.87 per cent to close at 3,474.75. The CSI 300 was up by 0.55 per cent to 4,271.42.

The Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent to 1,923.76 after slipping earlier in the day, while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext ended 0.2 per cent down at 1,7550.26.

In Hong Kong, financials led the way as banks saw their turnover climb to HK$27.45 billion.

ICBC was up 3.17 per cent to HK$7.16, China Construction Bank rose 2.8 per cent to HK$8.42, but Bank of China Hong Kong inched down 0.36 per cent to HK$41.25.

Ping An Insurance gained 2.66 per cent to HK$92.50, after local media reports said the insurer plans to spin off four technology units in separate listings.

Telecommunication companies performed well, with China Mobile gaining 2.91 per cent to HK$81.45 and China Unicom advancing 2.89 per cent to HK$11.38.

But tech shares and real estate developers bucked the trend and declined.

AAC Technologies Holdings and Sunny Optical Technology shed 4.1 per cent and 3.33 per cent to close at HK$134.60 and HK$107.30 respectively.

Tencent pulled back 0.27 per cent to HK$447.80.

Evergrande lost 2.87 per cent to HK$27.10; Country Garden fell 1.67 per cent to HK$16.52; China Overseas was down 1.23 per cent to HK$28.20 and Sun Hung Kai Properties declined 0.75 per cent to HK$132.20.