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Stock prices are reflected on glass buildings in Central, Hong Kong. Photo: Shutterstock

Losses pile up in Hong Kong as HSBC, Tencent pressure stocks at 11-year low before market holidays

  • Hang Seng slipped further from the lowest level since October 2011 as traders shunned riskier assets amid worries about rate increases
  • China’s financial markets are closed for the entire week for National Day, while Hong Kong will pause on Tuesday for a public holiday
Hong Kong stocks fell, losing further traction at more than a decade low, as traders continued to dump riskier assets for the safety of government bonds amid the threat of more interest-rate increases and economic recession.

The Hang Seng Index retreated 0.8 per cent to 17,079.51 at the close of Monday trading. The gauge fell 14 per cent last month to the lowest level since October 2011, and completed a 21 per cent slump in the third quarter. The Hang Seng Tech Index dropped 0.7 per cent, following a 19 per cent setback in September.

Tencent Holdings slipped 1 per cent to HK$263.80 while HSBC slid 2.2 per cent to HK$40.35 while Alibaba Group declined 0.4 pere cent to HK$77.65. Developer New World slumped 6.3 per cent to HK$20.90 while Henderson Land Development dropped 0.2 per cent to HK$21.95 after a modest response in local weekend home sales amid higher borrowing costs, clouding earnings prospects.

“Risk off seen from multiple forces heading into the new month and quarter as corporate earnings misses continue to raise the threat of an ugly earnings season ahead,” analysts at Saxo Bank group wrote in a report.

Hong Kong’s financial markets will close on Tuesday for a holiday, while markets in mainland China are shut this week for National Day.

Citigroup became the latest investment bank to dial back its forecasts for local stocks, lowering its end-2022 target for the Hang Seng Index to 20,000 from 23,456 on the back of weaker corporate earnings, Bloomberg reported. Goldman Sachs and HSBC have earlier scaled back their forecasts for Chinese stocks.

Global institutional funds pulled US$1.8 billion of money from regional equity markets last week, bringing the the cumulative net selling in Asia excluding China to US$111 billion since the January peak, according to Goldman Sachs. That has surpassed the US$93 billion exodus seen during the 2008 crisis.


‘We need to look past uncertainty’, says Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief ahead of banking summit

‘We need to look past uncertainty’, says Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief ahead of banking summit
Chinese electric-vehicle producers were mostly weaker despite an upbeat sales report for September, as analysts expect a slowing growth ahead. Xpeng dropped 0.2 per cent to HK$45.90 while Li Auto lost 0.4 per cent to HK$90.25. Zhejiang Leapmotor jumped 6.9 per cent to HK$26.50 after plunging on its market debut last week.
Mainland property developers rallied after the central bank reduced mortgage rates last week to boost home sales. The Hang Seng Mainland Property Index rose 5.4 per cent. Country Garden jumped 8.8 per cent to HK$1.98, while Longfor surged 8 per cent to HK$24.35.

US equities completed a third straight quarter of slide, as policy tightening since March, and the threat of more interest-rate increases later this year, forced investors to dump riskier assets for the safety of government bonds.