Growth fears spur sell-off

Business | Reuters, Dominique Nguy and Ailyn Huang 20 Apr 2017

Hong Kong stocks fell for the third straight session yesterday and sentiment was also hurt by a four-day losing streak in China's stock market, as investors worry that Beijing's stepped-up property curbs and deleveraging campaign will slow China's economic growth.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent to 23,825.88 points, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.6 percent to 9,983.73. Most sectors fell.

The Hong Kong-traded shares of China Minsheng Banking dropped 1.7 percent, after the lender said a branch manager was being investigated by police.

Chinese financial stocks came under pressure yesterday with the Chinese government looking to eliminate financial risks in the banking and financial sector.

Shares of AAC Technologies (2018) rose 5 percent on the back of rumors that Apple is looking to launch three new iphones this year. It closed at HK$100.30 yesterday.

Boosted by positive feedback from Daiwa Capital and Goldman Sachs on its new high-end brand, shares of Geely Automobile (0175) surged 6.4 percent and closed at HK$11.28.

Shanghai stocks fell as investor worries deepened that tighter regulations against speculation and shadow banking will hurt the country's nascent recovery.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent, to 3,170.69 points. Shares fell across the board, with raw material shares among the worst casualties as commodity prices fell sharply.

Underscoring the painful trade-off China is facing, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned of potential disruptions in the medium term in the Chinese economy unless the country reduces its reliance on rapid credit growth.

The central bank has also signalled it has moved to a tighter monetary policy bias, and has been gingerly raising short-term interest rates to try to contain risks in the system and discourage speculation.

"The slowdown of economic growth in mainland China and the continuous weakening of external economy are perceived to be the biggest risks in this quarter," said Karina Law Shu-lan, vice president of retail distribution at JPMorgan.

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