20 April 2019

China insurers, lenders drag on stocks

Chinese insurers and lenders weighed on the Hang Seng Index Wednesday, pushing the Hong Kong benchmark near a one-month low.

It lost more than 400 points, or 1.71 percent, to finish at 23,338, with much of the fall coming after a wave of selling hit stock markets across the border.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, tumbled 2.7 percent to 11,073. The Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.49 percent lower at 2,204 points.

Chinese insurers fell as investors took profit after a recent rally. Ping An Insurance Group (02318.HK) gave up more than 4 percent and China Life Insurance (02628.HK) retreated 3.3 percent.

Mainland banks tracked the downward spiral, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (01398.HK), Bank of China (03988.HK) and China Construction Bank (00939.HK) all closing more than 2 percent lower for the day.

HSBC (00005.HK) slipped 1.3 percent after it said it had agreed to sell its 8 percent stake in Bank of Shanghai to Spain’s Banco Santander. AIA Group (01299.HK) fell more than 2 percent. 

China Mobile (00941.HK) lost more than 3 percent. 

Tencent (00700.HK) closed 1.8 percent higher after UBS raised its target price to HK$570, a 20 percent premium to its closing price Wednesday. Tencent ourperformed the market with the best showing by a blue chip for the day.

China COSCO Holdings (01919.HK) tumbled 4.3 percent after announcing plans to buy several dozen new ships. China Shipping Container Lines (02866.HK), Orient Overseas International (00316.HK) and COSCO Pacific (01199.HK) dropped in a range of 1.4 percent to 2.9 percent.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



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