Hong Kong stocks snapped a two-session wining streak, as traders awaited the release of China’s July economic data and weighed the strength of the global economy after US equities approached all-time highs.
The Hang Seng Index fell less than 0.1 per cent, or 13.35 points, to 25,230.67 at the close. The gauge changed directions at least 10 times in intraday trading.
Tencent Holdings dropped despite its better-than-expected earnings release. Next Digital tumbled by at least 40 per cent for a second day after the city’s securities regular warned against the risk of trading the stock. And China Unicom surged by the most on record after posting earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
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China’s Shanghai Composite Index added less than 0.1 per cent to 3,320.73. Major markets in Asia all rose, with the benchmarks in Japan and South Korea gaining at least 1.2 per cent, following a rally in overnight trading in the US that briefly drove the S&P 500 index past its record high set before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.
“The fact that equities have mostly recovered all pandemic loss even as the real economy is nowhere near achieving that, it just seems so remarkably ridiculous,” said Stephen Innes, a strategist at AxiCorp.
With the US in the dilemma of grappling with resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic and reopening the economy, traders will have a chance to assess the sustainability of China’s recovery from the economic dislocation on Friday. Growth in industrial output may have accelerated to 5.1 per cent last month and retail sales probably returned to growth for the first time since at least February, according to the estimates of economists polled by Bloomberg.
Tencent slipped 2 per cent to HK$510, even after posting a 37 per cent increase in second-quarter earnings. The Chinese social-media giant, which is in the spotlight amid the frayed China-US ties, downplayed the impact of the order by President Donald Trump to ban business transactions with its WeChat app, saying on a Wednesday conference call that only 2 per cent of its revenues were generated from the US.
Next Digital, the parent company of Apple Daily, plunged 42 per cent to 38 Hong Kong cents after skyrocketing 12 fold on the first two days of the week following the arrest of its owner Jimmy Lai Chee-ying.
China Unicom surged 26 per cent to HK$5.74 after saying first-half profit rose 10 per cent to 7.57 billion yuan (US$1.09 billion), making it the best performer on the Hang Seng Index. That beat the estimate of 6.94 billion yuan in a Bloomberg survey. Techtronic Industries rallied 11 per cent to HK$94.45 for a record close, as CGS-CIMB raised the price target of the stock by 28 per cent following its earnings release.
In the mainland, CanSino Biologics, which is developing a vaccine for Covid-19, surged by as much as 127 per cent from its offer price to 477 yuan in debut on the Star Market in Shanghai. The shares closed 87 per cent higher at 393.11 yuan. Its Hong Kong-traded stock slid 4.3 per cent to HK$198.80.
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This article Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slips as traders brace for China data and assess economic outlook first appeared on South China Morning Post