Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Hang Seng closes above 26,000 for first time in nearly 2 years

Sport brand Li Ning soars 9.2pc on reports VC firm is set to take over.

Cathay climb 6.3pc after second major round of job cuts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 June, 2017, 9:17am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 2017, 6:13pm

Hong Kong stocks posted modest gains on Thursday, with the Hang Seng Index closing above the 26,000 mark, as the market awaited the outcome of several major political events later in the day.

The index swung between gains and losses during the session, before ending up 0.3 per cent or 88.9 points at 26,063.06. The last time the index closed above 26,000 was in July, 2015.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index also added 0.4 per cent or 38.44 points to 10,649.9.

“The Hang Seng Index is still in uptrend. But uncertainties associated with the UK election results and US politics have limited gains in stocks,” said Kim Ren Minjian, an analyst for Victory Securities.

His comments also came as the market awaited a European Central Bank meeting on inflation outlook, and former FBI director James Comey’s testimony to a US congressional panel.

Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning soared 9.2 per cent to HK$5.84 after media reports said private equity group TPG Capital planned to sell its entire stake in the business, with the selling price above market expectations.

Cathay Pacific climbed 6.3 per cent to HK$12.54 after announcing a second major round of job cuts.

Mainland insurers also posted significant gains. Ping An Insurance jumped 2.2 per cent to hit its highest level in two years, closing at HK$52. China Life Insurance advanced 1.9 per cent to HK$25.4.

Car maker Geely Auto surged 9.4 per cent to HK$15.14.

In the mainland, stocks received a boost from better-than-expected trade statistics.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose for a third day in a row, up 0.3 per cent to 3,150.33, the best level in more than a month.

Gains came after official data showed China’s May exports increased 14.8 per cent in US dollar terms. Imports also grew 8.7 per cent in the same month, above market expectations.

“All these point to a benign external environment for China and emerging markets at this moment, underpinning the recent strong performance of the RMB and Asian stock markets,” said Larry Hu, an analyst for Macquarie Capital.

The CSI 300 – which tracks large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – added 0.8 per cent to 3,560.98. The Shenzhen Composite Index inched up 0.1 per cent to 1,852.86, while the Nasdaq style ChiNext fell 0.3 per cent to 1,794.75.

Car makers advanced, with SAIC Motor Corporation up 2.7 per cent to 30.88 yuan, and Sinotruk Jinan Truck adding 2.1 per cent to 12.47 yuan.