November 14, 2018 / 8:46 AM / a month ago

HK stocks fall on worries over China's economy; oil stocks plunge

* HSI down 0.5 pct, HSCE down 0.7 pct

* Investors concerned about China and global economic growth

* Energy sub-index drops over 3 pct as oil prices plummet

By Noah Sin

HONG KONG, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong equities inched lower on Wednesday as data out of China painted a lacklustre picture of its economy, while global oil prices dropped, dragging down energy shares.

** The Hang Seng index was down 0.5 percent at 25,792.87, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.7 percent to 10,478.71.

** A mixed picture of the Chinese economy emerged on Wednesday, as official data showed weaker-than-expected retails sales growth, but saw industrial output and fixed-asset investment holding up.

** The data came after China reported a sharp slowdown in October credit growth on Tuesday, indicating economic weakness.

** Investment in real estate fell to a 10-month low in China, according to data released on Wednesday. But share prices in the property sector in Hong Kong remained largely unaffected, with the Hang Seng’s property sub index closing up 0.6 percent.

** Hong Kong stocks were hit by a confluence of local and global risks on Wednesday, according to Ben Kwong, head of research at KGI Asia in Hong Kong.

** “On the one hand, data in China is showing a slowdown in the economy,” he said. “On the other, U.S. equities aren’t doing particularly well either. On top of that, global oil prices are falling faster, which make people worry about a global economic slowdown.”

** The mainland stock market, which closes an hour ahead of Hong Kong’s, foreshadowed the fall in the Hang Seng. The Shanghai Composite Index gave up 0.9 percent, whereas the blue-chip CSI300 retreated 1 percent.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares fell 3.2 percent after oil prices plunged 7 percent on Tuesday.

** Two out of the three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were energy companies. CNOOC Ltd fell 4.7 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd lost by 3.6 percent. Only CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which was lower by 5.6 percent, lost more on Wednesday among H-share companies.

** The sub index for the IT sector dipped 0.32 percent. The financial sector sub index ended 0.41 percent lower.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.2 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.9508 per U.S. dollar at 08:21 GMT, 0.09 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.957.

** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Link Real Estate Investment Trust, which gained 1.9 percent, while the biggest loser was CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which fell 5.6 percent.

** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd up 4.2 percent, followed by ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, also up 4.2 percent, and China Telecom Corp Ltd , which gained 2.05 percent.

** Tencent Holdings, which is due to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday evening, closed down 0.8 pct.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.51 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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