Property and oil stocks take Hang Seng Index closer to all-time high of 31,958

Overnight the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 25,000 for the first time

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 9:22am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 11:33am

Hong Kong stocks edged up in Friday morning trade, as gains in property and oil-related stocks outweighed losses by carmakers, insurers and industrials. Mainland markets were soft.

The Hang Seng Index rose by as much as 0.5 per cent to touch a fresh 10-year high before paring back gains to 0.1 per cent to 30,758.25. The benchmark index is heading for a weekly gain of 2.8 per cent, marking the biggest increase since October and inching closer to its all-time high of 31,958 reached on October 30, 2007. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index also advanced by as much as 0.7 per cent, before slipping 0.02 per cent, or 1.85 points, to 12,201.70.

“Some sectors are likely to underperform such as construction and industrials although the general market remains supported in the first half of the year at least,” said Kingston Lin King-ham, director of securities brokerage AMTD. “People remain optimistic about China and global growth.”

Oil sector continued to rebound after global oil prices remain elevated. Sinopec gained 2 per cent to HK$6.26, China Oilfield Services advanced 1 per cent to HK$8.69 and PetroChina added 0.4 per cent to HK$5.8.

Property developers also fared well. Country Garden Holdings rose 3.5 per cent to HK$16.06, China Evergrande Group was up 0.5 per cent to HK$28.15, and Sun Hung Kai Properties added 0.4 per cent to HK$133.

However, industrials dropped, with Kingboard Chemical Holdings easing 0.5 per cent to HK$41.55, Xingyi Glass Holdings falling 3.5 per cent to HK$10.54 and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology was 2.2 per cent lower at HK$3.49.

Carmakers Brilliance China Automotive Holding slid 4.2 per cent to HK$20.55, BYD lost 2.1 per cent to HK$69.15 and Geely Automobile Holdings was 1.8 per cent lower at HK$26.95. Citigroup, however, said it was positive on BYD because the adjustment on new energy car subsidy was expected to be delayed.

Insurers also retreated, with China Life Insurance falling 1.2 per cent to HK$24.55, Ping An Insurance down 1.1 per cent to HK$82.95, AIA Group eased 0.2 per cent to HK$67.85.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.02 per cent or 0.58 points to 3,385.13, while the CSI 300 – which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – edged up 0.02 per cent or 0.94 points to 4,129.75.

The Shenzhen Composite Index was down marginally by 0.03 per cent or 0.66 points to 1,940.30, while the Nasdaq style ChiNext added 0.3 per cent or 5.53 points to 1,800.14.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.6 per cent to 25,075.13, breaking the 25,000 level for the first time. The S&P 500 index gained 0.4 per cent to 2,723.99 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.2 per cent higher at 7,077.92.

Other Asian markets were generally higher in Friday trade. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose by 0.2 per cent to 23,547.78, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7 per cent and Sydney All Ordinaries advanced by 0.6 per cent.