12 December 2019

HSI falls 155 points as market awaits offshore data

Hong Kong’s benchmark index fell for the fourth day in a row on Thursday as the market waited for direction from overseas.

The European Central Bank will have its policy meeting on Thursday, while the United States will release its third-quarter GDP and nonfarm payroll data Thursday and Friday. The US payroll data could point to when the Federal Reserve will start to taper its bond buying program, which is directly linked to the labor market.

The Hang Seng Index closed 155 points, or 0.68 percent, lower at 22,881. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index finished 0.93 percent down at 10,474. The Shanghai Composite Index also lost 0.48 percent to close at 2,129 points.

Bank plays fell about 1 percent as the People’s Bank of China stopped carrying out its reverse-repurchase operations and new loans from the big four in October reached their lowest levels in a year.

But Lenovo (00992.HK) reported a 35.6 percent year-on-year increase in third-quarter profit to US$220 million, a result that beat market expectations. The counter rose 3.8 percent during the day before settling 2.1 percent higher.

Subsidiaries of China Resources Group came under selling pressure — China Resources Power (00836.HK) fell 2.8 percent and China Resources Enterprise (00291.HK) was down 2.6 percent.

Investors have also soured on the milk industry. China Mengniu Dairy (02319.HK) and China Modern Dairy (01117.HK) both gave up more than 4 percent before the market closed. 

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