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A woman walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hang Seng Index on June 1, 2021. Photo: AP

Hong Kong stocks erase gains as China passes secretive anti-sanctions law

  • Hang Seng Index erased gains from early trading after China passed anti-sanctions law without revealing its workings
  • Mainland shipping-related stocks advanced as shipping rates soared on prospects for improved trade between the US and China
Hong Kong stocks surrendered gains after China passed an anti-sanctions law that provided legal backing for Beijing’s measures to counter foreign sanctions, potentially raising the temperatures on foreign relations.

The Hang Seng slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 28,738.88 for its seventh day of losses, the market’s longest losing streak since December 2015. The Shanghai Composite added 0.5 per cent, while the CSI 300 of the biggest stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.7 per cent, both on track for their second day of gains.

Haidilao led losers among blue chips, falling 2.8 per cent to HK$39.60, while Sunny Optical declined 1.8 per cent to HK$190.60. Bank of China Hong Kong fell 1.6 per cent to HK$28.05.

The anti-sanctions law was passed on Thursday at the closing session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, but details of the law have not yet been made public.

Stocks gained in early trading after Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and his US counterpart Gina Raimondo “had a candid and pragmatic exchange of views on relevant issues and mutual concerns in the China-US business field,” the ministry  said a statement in Beijing on Thursday.

“The talks between the commerce ministers is a positive development for the markets, and has given market sentiment a boost,” said Stanley Chan, director of research at Emperor Securities. “There is room for negotiations.”


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China’s shipping-related stocks gained  on soaring shipping rates and prospects of improved trade ties between US and China. Cosco Shipping Holdings soared 11.6 per cent to HK$19.20, its highest level since July 25, 2008. Pacific Basin Shipping rose 9.3 per cent to HK$3.07, its highest level since late September 29, 2014.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Wednesday had  also revoked executive orders seeking to ban Chinese social-media apps TikTok and WeChat by ex-president Donald Trump, while issuing a new order to review security concerns posed by the apps.
On the mainland, liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai rose 1.8 per cent to 2,238.48 yuan, while  China Three Gorges Renewables Group rose 44.2 per cent to 3.82 yuan from its listing price of 2.65 yuan as the power generation company made its trading bow in Shanghai.