Hong Kong stocks slump to 14-month low as US-China trade war fears continue to rattle investors

Apple-related stocks fell further after Donald Trump’s tweet urging the California-based iPhone maker to manufacture more products at home

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 6:12pm

Hong Kong stocks closed at their lowest level in 14 months on Tuesday, entering a bear market as investors continued to worry about the escalating US-China trade war.

The Hang Seng Index fell 0.72 per cent, or 190.87 points, to 26, 422.55, its lowest close since July 14, 2017. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped 0.96 per cent, or 100.46 points, to 10,333.16.

All sub-indexes, bar utilities and telecommunications, were down as the market closed just over 20 per cent lower than the year’s peak at the end of January.

“Market sentiment is still quite cautious, still worrying about the Chinese economy and the trade problem in the US,” said Kenny Tang Sing-hing, chief executive of Jun Yang Securities. “A lot of the larger capped stocks have seen a bad trend – the selling pressure is quite substantial.”

Shares on the mainland hit a 31-month low on similar trade worries. The benchmark Shanghai Composite, which moved into bear territory in late June, slid 0.18 per cent, or 4.69 points, to close at 2,664.80.

The CSI 300 index of larger companies lost 0.18 per cent, or 5.86 points, to 3,224.21, while the ChiNext gauge of small-caps gained 0.31 per cent, or 4.35 points, to 1,395.17.

Apple-related stocks extended Monday’s losses as they continued to feel the affect of US President Donald Trump’s tweet urging the California-based iPhone maker to manufacture more products at home.

Apple supplier Sunny Optical ended the day down by 2.29 per cent at HK$87.45, while AAC Technologies dropped 3 per cent to HK$77.30, having hit a year-low of HK$77.05 earlier in the session.

Tencent Holdings touched HK$307.20, its lowest level since July 31, 2017, during the day but recovered some ground to close 1.79 per cent lower at HK$308.00.

On Monday the Shenzhen-based tech giant announced it would shut down its popular poker video game, Texas Hold’Em, amid increasing measures by the government to restrict the online gaming industry. The game closed down on Monday and its server will close on September 25, the company said.

It also bought back shares for a second day on Monday after its repurchase on Friday, which was the first since spending HK$77 million buying shares to spur a three-day rally in April 2014. On Monday it bought 124,000 shares for HK$39.1 million, more than five times the amount spent at the end of last week.

Financial firms ended the day 0.64 per cent lower.

ICBC shares saw the highest volume of trade, HK$276.8 million, closing 1.6 per cent lower at HK$5.46. Bank of China Hong Kong lost 1.11 per cent to finish at HK$35.60, while China Construction Bank dropped 1.37 per cent to HK$6.47.