13 December 2019

HSI ends week 2.1% lower as uncertainties loom

Hong Kong’s benchmark index ended the week on a fifth straight day of declines as investors waited for Saturday’s start to a key Communist Party gathering and fretted that economic growth could mean the US Federal Reserve will taper its bond buying program sooner than expected. 

The Hang Seng Index closed 136 points, or 0.6 percent, lower at 22,744, and was down 2.1 percent for the week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index finished 0.8 percent down at 10,390. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.09 percent to close at 2,106 points.

Property stocks went into a decline after the Shanghai municipal government lowered the mortgage ceiling for second homes from 40 percent to 30 percent. China Resources Land (01109.HK) was the worst blue-chip performer of the week, down 1.9 percent on the session and 7.3 percent for the five days. Longfor Properties (00960.HK) and Evergrande Real Estate Group (03333.HK) both slid over 2 percent on Friday.

Major airline plays came in for turbulence during the session after the central government voiced support for budget carriers. China Southern Airlines (01055.HK) and China Eastern Airlines (00670.HK) gave up more than 3 percent, while Air China (00753.HK) also fell nearly 2 percent for the day.

China COSCO Holdings Co. Ltd. (01919.HK, 601919.CN) also struggled on its admission that executive director Xu Minjie {徐敏杰} is being investigated for alleged corruption. The counter fell nearly 7 percent during the day before ending 5 percent lower. COSCO Pacific Ltd. (01199.HK), China COSCO’s container terminal unit, closed 2.5 percent lower for the day.

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