Hong Kong stocks close higher as Cathay Pacific gains on Goldman confidence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 9:20am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 11:36pm

Hong Kong stocks advanced on Thursday, with Cathay Pacific jumping 2.85 per cent after Goldman Sachs expressed confidence in its buy rating on the stock.

The Hang Seng Index finished the day at 28,459.03, up 0.24 per cent or 69 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.78 per cent, or 88 points, to 11,500.34. Mainland Chinese markets were mixed.

Cathay Pacific Airways gained after Goldman Sachs kept its buy rating on the stock and added it to a conviction list in a strong sign of confidence in the airline.

Internet giant Tencent was the most heavily traded stock. After rising by as much as 0.6 per cent to a record high of HK$353.80 as trading got under way, the blue chip ended down 0.4 per cent to HK$350.2 but led the market with HK$5.2 billion in turnover nonetheless. 

Meitu, which makes selfie apps for smartphones, rose 1.84 per cent to HK$11.9 and Tongda Group, which supplies electronics components, gained 2.3 per cent to HK$2.21. 

Kingston Lin King-ham, a director at AMTD securities brokerage, said the market is likely to continue to see-saw in coming days. 

“The market is still following the pattern of gaining one day and losing the other,” he said. “What weighed the market down [on Wednesday] was property shares. They have rebounded but obviously the growth is not that significant.

“The local benchmark was already meeting resistance at around 28,500. There wasn’t significant gain in turnover either,” he added. 

WH Group was among the worst performing blue chips of the day, diving 2.6 per cent to HK$7.98 after Goldman Sachs trimmed its earnings forecast for the coming three years.

Sunny Optical slid 4.6 per cent to HK$121.6 after Morgan Stanley said the company’s lens shipments in September had narrowly missed estimates.

Insurers saw strong gains, with PICC Property & Casualty advancing 4.8 per cent to HK$15.08 and Ping An gaining 2.81 per cent to HK$63.95.

Great Wall Motor halted trading ahead of releasing a clarification on media reports claiming it will set up a China joint venture with BMW. The stock jumped 14 per cent on Wednesday after the reports.

Brilliance China Automotive Holdings climbed 1.17 per cent to HK$21.5 after Goldman Sachs upgraded its target price to HK$28.8 and Credit Suisse lifted it to HK$25. JPMorgan reiterated its target price of HK$32, in expectation that its production capacity will rise.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.06 per cent to 3,386.10 while the CSI 300 — which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen — edged up 0.26 per cent to 3,912.95.

The Shenzhen Composite Index inched up 0.15 points to 2,023.36 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext rose 0.08 per cent to 1,899.99.

Hong Kong’s gains come after all three major US indices posted closing highs on Wednesday, driven by so-called defensive stocks, and that a market-friendly candidate, Jerome Powell, was being pushed as a successor to Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve chair.

Minutes of the most recent Fed policy meeting indicated that the board was still divided about the slow pickup in inflation, but many policymakers still felt another rate increase this year “was likely to be warranted”.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.2 per cent higher at 22,872.89, the S&P 500 advanced 1.1 per cent to 2,551.71 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 per cent at 6,603.55.