South China Morning Post
Hong Kong stocks continued to rise, as the US Federal Reserve vowed to do whatever it takes to bolster the world’s largest economy as it slogs through the unrelenting turmoil of the coronavirus.The Hang Seng Index advanced 0.7 per cent to 25,061.64 as of 11am on Thursday, led by information technology stocks. The benchmark rose over the past two sessions, but it has closed below 25,000 in the past four sessions.The new board of 30 of the largest tech companies listed in the city gained 1.6 per cent. The board is latest bit of excitement in the city’s stock market, where sentiment has also been boosted by a raft of new listings.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Among tech heavyweights on the new board, Tencent rose 1.1 per cent, Alibaba climbed 2.2 per cent, Meituan Dianping advanced 2 per cent, Xiaomi jumped 1.2 per cent, and Sunny Optical gained 1.3 per cent.Tencent grabs Facebook’s social media crown with rally that adds US$207 billion to market value this yearIn the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index bounced between small gains and small losses. It advanced over the past three sessions. Kweichow Moutai, one of the most popular stocks on the Stock Connect, rose 1.1 per cent to 1,689.85 yuan, on track for its fourth straight session of gains.Investors began the session with a flurry of local and global headlines to sort through, as well as earnings.In the US overnight, the Federal Reserve kept key interest rates at near zero, while chairman Jerome Powell warned data suggested a slowing in the pace of the recovery as US deaths soared past 150,000, representing about one of every four deaths globally.“The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check,” Powell said.Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s economy contracted 9 per cent in the second quarter. That was more than expected and was the fourth straight quarter of downturn as the coronavirus deepened the city’s recession. Hongkongers are hunkered down trying to stay safe amid the worst outbreak yet of Covid-19, which has killed five people in the city just since Monday. China, where the global pandemic started, is suddenly seeing clusters of outbreaks after bringing the highly contagious virus under control through then-unprecedented lockdowns and other measures.Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority intervened in the market again by selling HK$3.1 billion as the Hong Kong dollar rose over the strong end. This marked the 30th intervention this year and comes amid markets questioning the US dollar as a reserve currency. Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, the city’s former longest-serving monetary chief, has repeatedly defended the city’s 37-year-old currency peg to the US dollar as helping it maintain its role as an international financial centre.Budweiser Brewing APAC soared as much as 10.2 per cent after reporting its second quarter profit rose to US$226 million after a US$41 million loss in the first quarter. The beer maker highlighted the overall improvement in the second quarter, which was “primarily driven by a strong recovery in China to almost the same level as last year, including the highest monthly volume in our China history in June 2020.”It sells 50 brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona. It was most recently ahead by nearly 7 per cent, with trading volume nearly seven times more than the 20-day moving average, according to Bloomberg data.Purchase the 120+ page China Internet Report 2020 Pro Edition, brought to you by SCMP Research, and enjoy a 30% discount (original price US$400). The report includes deep-dive analysis, trends, and case studies on the 10 most important internet sectors. Now in its 3rd year, this go-to source for understanding China tech also comes with exclusive access to 6+ webinars with C-level executives, including Charles Li, CEO of HKEX, James Peng, CEO/founder of Pony.ai, and senior executives from Alibaba, Huawei, Kuaishou, Pinduoduo, and more. Offer valid until 31 August 2020. To purchase, please click here.More from South China Morning Post: * Currency peg vital for Hong Kong’s status as global finance centre even as US dollar declines, says former monetary authority chief Joseph Yam * Alibaba overtakes Facebook as world’s sixth-most valuable company after shares soar by 10 per cent in Hong KongThis article Hong Kong stocks advance as Federal Reserve keeps rates at near zero and vows more support in war against Covid-19 first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.