October 16, 2018 / 8:41 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares end firmer, but economic worries cap gains

* Hang Seng index ends 0.1 pct higher China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.53 percent HSI financial sector sub-index is flat; property sector down 0.3 percent

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Stocks in Hong Kong ended higher on Tuesday, gaining a footing after recent losses, although data showing cooling factory-gate inflation in China for a third straight month in September and a warning from S&P on government debt curbed further gains.

** The Hang Seng index ended 0.1 percent higher at 25,462.26 points, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.5 percent higher at 10,198.33 points. ** China’s factory-gate inflation cooled for a third straight month in September amid ebbing domestic demand, pointing to more pressure on the world’s second-biggest economy as it remains locked in an intensifying trade war with the United States. ** Adding to worries was an S&P Global Ratings report that said off-balance-sheet borrowings by Chinese local governments could be as high as 40 trillion yuan ($5.78 trillion) and amount to “a debt iceberg with titanic credit risks”. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.5 percent, while the IT sector dipped 0.27 percent, the financial sector was 0.15 percent lower and property sector dipped 0.3 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which ended up 3.68 percent, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd, which closed down 3.51 percent. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.8 weaker at 3,100.97 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index also closed 0.8 percent lower at 2,546.33 points. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.46 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 1.25 percent higher. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9181 per U.S. dollar at 0822 GMT, 0.01 percent firmer than previous close of 6.9185. ** As of previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was down 14.95 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was down 13.4 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 8.43 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, which closed up 5.76 percent, followed by People’s Insurance Group of China Co Ltd, which ended 2.82 percent firmer and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which closed 2.68 percent higher. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Railway Group Ltd, which ended down 4.15 percent, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which closed 1.9 percent lower and Air China Ltd, which ended down 1.7 percent. ** About 1.51 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 82 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.84 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.66 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 22.33 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 9.86, as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 3.7 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Hang Seng index dropped 1.51 percent to HK$16.54 trillion. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 0.06 percent on the day at 5,484.88 points. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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