22 September 2018

HSI takes a breather but insurance plays still hot

Hong Kong’s benchmark index took a breather on Tuesday after surging more than 600 points in the previous session, but market sentiment remained positive.

The Hang Seng Index ended the day 2 points or 0.01 percent lower at 23,657. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, climbed 0.51 percent to finish at 11,365, while the Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.19 percent to 2,193 points.

Turnover in the Hong Kong market was robust, nearing HK$90 billion (US$11.61 billion) on Tuesday after surpassing HK$100 billion the previous day. 

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (00388.HK) jumped 4 percent at one point before closing 3 percent higher.

PetroChina (00857.HK) was up 2.5 percent while Sinopec (00386.HK) climbed 1.2 percent to end near its six-year high, as mainland authorities are expected to pursue the reform of the country’s energy pricing mechanism.

The Communist Party’s pledge to build a sustainable social security system continued to underpin insurance plays. China Life Insurance (02628.HK) closed 4.7 percent higher, the best performer among blue chips for the second consecutive day.

Meanwhile, the Guangzhou municipal government announced new measures to tighten its housing policy, becoming the last among the first-tier cities to rein in the real estate market.

Property stocks came under selling pressure with China Resources Land (01109.HK) ending the session 4.7 percent lower. Rivals Yuexiu Property (00123.HK), Guangzhou R&F Properties (02777.HK) and KWG Property Holding (01813.HK) gave up more than 2 percent.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]




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