Hong Kong stocks edge higher buoyed by consumer staples

Hang Seng Index ends the day ahead 0.06 per cent at 28,476.43. Tsingtao Brewery jumps 4.29pc to HK$32.80, on news Asahi considering sale

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 9:25am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 10:53pm

Hong Kong stocks ended the week slightly higher on Friday, as consumer staples advanced.

The Hang Seng Index inched ahead 0.06 per cent to 28,476.43, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.17 per cent to 11,519.81. 

The local benchmark started the morning lower after all three US major indices fell overnight and as a small earthquake rattled the area close to North Korea’s nuclear test site. The tremors did not appear to be man-made, South Korea’s weather agency said on Friday.

Performance for the rest of the day remained lacklustre, however.

Consumer staples stocks were the bigger winners. Dali Foods added 2.96 per cent to HK$6.26.

Tsingtao Brewery jumped 4.29 per cent to HK$32.80 after saying its second largest shareholder Asahi is considering selling partial or all of its stake in the company, a move that comes after China’s beer market experienced softening demand, as mainlanders cut back the consumption of cheap lagers, fuelled by rising personal income.

“The market is still consolidating. The investment focus will be on next week’s 19th Communist Party Congress on the mainland,” said Ben Kwong Man-bun, director of KGI Asia.

“There were gainers and losers. But they evened each other out,” Kwong said. “Investors focus on individual stocks in the short term and this pattern is likely to persist for a while.”

Chinese technology giant Tencent fell 0.29 per cent to HK$349.20, while China Mobile was down 0.69 per cent at HK$78.40. However, AAC Tech shot up 3.7 per cent to HK$140. 

Mainland markets were generally firm on Friday, with the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.13 points to 3,390.52 and the CSI 300 – which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – edging up 0.21 per cent to 3,921.00.

The Shenzhen Composite Index edged up 0.66 per cent to 2,036.81 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext added 1.37 per cent to 1,926.07.

Bitcoin, the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, rose for a second day to an all-time high, surging through the US$5,000 barrier for the first time on Thursday, erasing last month’s losses.

The virtual currency had fallen after the head of JP Morgan blasted it as a “fraud”. China forced many exchanges to close down, as authorities focus their attention on their credentials, sparking fears of a broader crackdown. 

US stocks retreated from recent record highs on Thursday as AT&T shares sank after it said it lost subscribers in the last quarter and banks slipped despite better-than-expected results from JPMorgan and Citigroup. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.14 per cent to 22,841.01 overnight Asian time, the S&P 500 slipped slightly by 0.03 per cent to 2,550.93 and the Nasdaq Composite eased 0.18 per cent to 6,591.51.