Hong Kong stocks close at highest level in a week rallied by tech and insurance sectors

Hang Seng Index advances 1.2 per cent to end at 28,978.14 – the best close since December 4. Mainland indices all gain

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 9:25am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, 11:45am

Hong Kong stocks rose to their highest finish in a week on Monday, up for a third day in a row, buoyed by tech and insurance shares, while daily turnover continued to shrink.

The Hang Seng Index advanced 1.1 per cent, or 325.44 points, to end at 28,965.29, the best close since December 4. The benchmark had posted two straight weeks of losses before Monday.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-shares index, rose 1.3 per cent to 11,431.62.

However, daily turnover continued to drop, reaching HK$109 billion on the main board. Last week, average daily turnover fell to HK$121.9 billion (US$15.6 billion), down 6.7 per cent from the previous week.

“The market is stabilising as big caps recover. But it is unlikely to see a strong upside for now as people are fed up with the correction and are not buying second-tier companies,” said Alex Wong Kwok-ying, director of Ample Finance Group.

The market is stabilising as big caps recover. But it is unlikely to see a strong upside for now as people are fed up with the correction and are not buying second-tier companies
Alex Wong Kwok-ying, director of Ample Finance Group

Chinese internet giant Tencent was responsible for 81 points of gains on the Hang Seng Index, the most among the constituent stocks. It gained 2.9 per cent to close at HK$405.4.

HSBC Holdings and Ping An Insurance rose 2 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, to HK$78.3 and HK$81.35. They each contributed 57 and 49 points of gains on the benchmark.

By sector, tech and internet stocks posted the most-significant gains, as online publisher China Literature surged 4.8 per cent to HK$88.05, insurtech firm ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance jumped 3.8 per cent to HK$68, and acoustic component maker AAC Technologies added 2.8 per cent to HK$153.

Insurance plays also rose, with China Taiping Insurance Holdings rising 3.5 per cent to HK$29.55, and New China Life Insurance up 3.4 per cent to HK$54.1.

Gaming stocks gained for a third straight day after Credit Suisse lifted the gaming revenue forecast for the sector for the next three years. Deutsche Bank has also updated its target prices for Macau gaming stocks.

MGM China climbed 4.8 per cent HK$23, Sands China advanced 3.1 per cent to HK$39.65, and Galaxy Entertainment gained 1.9 per cent to HK$58.6.

However, Nissin Foods, the recently floated Japanese instant noodle maker, closed down 4.8 per cent at HK$3.37, against its IPO price of HK$3.54.

“Nissin received a weak response because it is not in a hot sector, and it isn’t doing especially well in China,” Wong said.

On mainland exchanges, the Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1 per cent at 3,322.2, the biggest daily percentage gain in more than three months.

The CSI 300 Index – which tracks large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – added 1.7 per cent to 4,069.5.

The Shenzhen Composite Index and the Nasdaq-style ChiNext rose 1.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent separately to 1,919.69 and 1,816.98.

Car makers advanced across the sector, after a top official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said several state departments are working on a strategic development plan for the nation’s smart car industry, which will be unveiled soon.

Shenyang Jinbei Automotive soared by its limit of 10 per cent to 5.24 yuan, BYD swung higher by 4.8 per cent to 62.59 yuan, and Zhongtong Bus & Holding was up 4.3 per cent to 11.43 yuan.

Major stock indexes in Asia Pacific were broadly higher on Monday. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed up 0.6 per cent at 22,938.73, Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.3 per cent to 2,471.49, and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 ticked higher by 0.1 per cent to 5,998.3.