Market upbeat after hitting 10-month high

Finance | Victor Zhong and Agencies 5 Jan 2021

Hong Kong stocks rose to a 10-month high on the first trading day of 2021, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index rising 0.89 percent, or 241 points, to 27,472.

Among the best performers, Xiaomi (1810) gained 6.17 percent to close at HK$35.25.

The mainland smartphone maker shares are now double their initial public offering price of 2018, and the milestone comes just days after the company launched its latest flagship smartphone.

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (0388) rose 3.95 percent, or HK$16.80, to HK$441.80.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (0981) fell 2.49 percent after the company announced Jason Cong Jingsheng has resigned as an independent non-executive director with effect from December 31, 2020 due to "the recent developments in the United States concerning the company."

Chinese oil and telecom shares fell. CNOOC (0883) slid 1.81 percent to HK$7.05 with a revenue of HK$3.17 billion while China Mobile (0941) also dropped 0.79 percent to HK$43.85.

This came after Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Henik Fung said Chinese oil majors CNOOC, PetroChina (0857), and China Petroleum and Chemical (386) may be next in line for delisting in the United States as they were on a list of companies that are said to be owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

Last week, the New York Stock Exchange said it would remove China's three biggest state-owned telecom giants - China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom - from US stock exchanges by January 11, following President Donald Trump's November executive order prohibiting US investment in companies that Washington says support the Chinese military

Citibank Hong Kong expects the HSI to reach 30,054 in the year-end and is optimistic about the new energy sector.

And DBS Bank is optimistic about new-economy enterprises while old-economy stocks may benefit from the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to chief investment officer Hou Wey Fook.

In other news, HKEX said that bid-ask spreads have narrowed for over 80 percent of the 201 listed exchange-traded funds with spreads for 70 percent tightening by more than 10 percent.

The tightening came after the introduction of new rules requiring ETF market makers to provide continuous two-sided quotes at greater volumes and tighter spreads and a new spread table for ETFs that reduced the tick size by at least 50 percent.

In the commodities markets, gold started the new year on a high by notching an eight-week peak after surpassing the key US$1,900 (HK$14,820) level , as a surge in Covid-19 cases and prospects of tougher coronavirus control measures lured investors to the safe-haven metal.

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