23 March 2019

HSI tumbles amid worries of slowing growth

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) tumbled over 360 points on Tuesday as investors worried the mainland economy is slowing faster than expected. China will release its first-quarter gross domestic product data on Wednesday.

The HSI slumped 1.6 percent, or 367 points, to close at 22,671. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, ended 2.1 percent lower at 10,028, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.4 percent to 2,101 points.

Most of the blue chips ended in the red with only CITIC Pacific (00267.HK), Power Assets (00006.HK) and Cheung Kong (00001.HK) managing to eke out gains.

HKEx (00388.HK) retreated, giving up 5.3 percent after rising 14 percent in the last two trading sessions. China Merchants Holdings International (00144.HK) dived 5.5 percent to become the day’s worst-performing blue chip.

Mid-sized banks saw heavy selling pressure after Daiwa Securities lowered their target prices amid expectations of slowing economic growth. China Minsheng Banking (01988.HK) nosedived, ending the day 8.2 percent lower. China CITIC Bank (00998.HK) was down 6.5 percent while China Merchants Bank (03968.HK) fell 2.7 percent.

Investors also dumped auto plays.  BYD (01211.HK) fell 7 percent after first-quarter sales missed forecasts, while Great Wall Motor (02333.HK) retreated over 5 percent.

Mainland brokerages remained weak, indicating that the much-ballyhooed “through train” trading concept is losing steam even before the actual program has started. First Shanghai Investments (00227.HK) slumped 13 percent and Guotai Junan International (01788.HK) closed 7.9 percent lower.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



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