Local stocks extend gains

Business | 12 Jan 2018

Hong Kong stocks extended their record run into a 13th day yesterday as the Hang Seng Index rose 46.67 points to close at 31,120.39.

The HSI is now setting its sight on an all-time high of 31,958.41 hit in October 2007.

Among yesterday's best performers, AAC technologies (2018) jumped 4.42 percent to HK$148.70, HSBC (0005) piled on 2.38 percent to HK$84.05, and PetroChina (0857) gained 1.03 percent to HK$5.88.

Wharf REIC (1997) rallied 2.65 percent to HK$54.20 and Hang Lung Properties (0101) was 2.5 percent higher at HK$20.50.

However, Tencent (0700) slipped 2.5 percent to HK$429.40, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388) dropped 1.25 percent to HK$268.40 and Hang Seng Bank (0011) eased 0.83 percent to HK$190.50.

The financial hub has been boosted by increased flows of cash from traders in Shanghai and Shenzhen looking to pick up stocks at a relative discount to those at home, while analysts pointed to low borrowing costs on interbank markets.

Energy firms have been among the top performers with oil prices rallying to around three-year highs, while property plays have also rallied as interest rates in the city remain low, despite increases by the US Federal Reserve. Hong Kong's monetary policy is linked to the US via the currency peg.

However, with markets globally enjoying healthy gains in recent weeks, there were warnings of a possible retreat.

"It's better to take some chips off the table - markets do look a little frothy," Mikio Kumada, a Hong Kong-based global strategist at LGT Capital Partners, said.

"Eventually there will be a sell-off or a correction that will offer better opportunities."

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.10 percent, or 3.51 points, to 3,425.34 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, rose 0.38 percent, or 7.46 points, to 1,953.12.

Jackson Wong, Hong Kong-based analyst with Huarong International Securities, said mainland shares were boosted by "a relief rally because investors thought the government was going to further tighten liquidity at the end of last year.

"But they never rolled out any new measures. So the market is moving on and playing catch-up with global markets."

Banks were higher in Shanghai. Banking giant ICBC gained 0.81 percent to 6.21 yuan (HK$7.47) while Bank of China climbed 1.49 percent to 4.09 yuan.

But liquor makers were weaker after recent gains, with Kweichow Moutai down 1.39 percent to 774.81 yuan.


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