Hong Kong stocks end higher for 8th straight session as technology and oil firms shine

Tencent helps the Hang Seng higher, while Shanghai shares close higher for a fifth straight session

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 9:14am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 10:47pm

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng share index posted its eighth straight winning session on Thursday, taking combined gains to 1,500 points and powered by advances in the technology and oil sectors.

The index briefly touched a fresh decade high of 30,796.93, before trimming gains and closing at 30,736.48, up 0.6 per cent, or 175.53 points, from the previous close. It is moving closer to its all-time trading high of 31,958 reached on October 30, 2007.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-shares index, advanced 1 per cent, or 114.56 points, to 12,203.55. Daily turnover rose to HK$131.8 billion, up 0.8 per cent from Wednesday’s figure.

“A weak US dollar and a strong yuan are conducive to bullish sentiment in stocks,” said Ben Kwong Man-bun, director at KGI Asia. “Today people are buying the oil and tech sectors.”

China’s yuan strengthened 6.8 per cent last year as the US dollar slid on expectations that US interest rates would stay relatively low. Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed on Wednesday that most officials still support a gradual approach to raising the interest rates.

Leading the Hang Seng higher was Tencent Holdings, which advanced 2.3 per cent to HK$431.80. It alone contributed 68 points of gains to the index.

Chip maker Hua Hong Semiconductor soared 11 per cent to HK$17.60. SMIC added 1.9 per cent to HK$12.76.

Insurance technology firm ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance climbed 2.5 per cent to HK$74.20. Online publishing and e-book website China Literature surged 5.4 per cent to HK$89.15.

Oil shares were boosted by rising oil prices. PetroChina gained 5.1 per cent to HK$5.78, Sinopec rose 4.1 per cent to HK$6.14, and CNOOC jumped 3.8 per cent to HK$12.06.

WTI crude futures for February delivery settled at US$61.63 a barrel on Wednesday, the first time it had breached the US$61 mark since June 2015. Brent crude also settled higher by 1.9 per cent to US$67.84.

However, property shares pulled back after recent gains. Country Garden Holdings declined 2.9 per cent to HK$15.52, and China Evergrande lost 1.4 per cent to HK$28.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index finished up 0.5 per cent at 3,385.71, the fifth straight session of gains. The CSI300 Index moved 0.4 per cent higher to 4,128.81 and the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.4 per cent to 1,940.96, while the ChiNext Index closed almost flat at 1,794.61.

On the Shanghai market, Sinopec and PetroChina gained 6.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent to 6.9 yuan and 8.55 yuan respectively. China Oilfield Services rose by the maximum 10 per cent allowed in a session to 11.72 yuan.