Hong Kong stocks fell across
the board on Friday and erased gains made in the previous three
sessions, tracking weakness in broader Asian markets amid
growing worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve looked set to
deliver another rate hike in December.
** The Hang Seng index declined 2.4 percent to 25,601.92.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 2.5 percent
** The Hang Seng lost 3.3 percent for the week, returning to
levels not seen since Nov. 1.
** Losses were notable in the tech sector, as the Hang Seng sub
index for information technology companies slid by
over 4 percent.
** The fall was made worse by Tencent
circuits maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp
. Brokerages cut target prices for both stocks. Tencent
closed down 4.9 percent, making it the worst performer on the
** Chinese financial companies, under pressure by the banking
and insurance watchdog to lend more to struggling private
enterprises, weighed on the Hang Seng sub-index for the
financial sector, which closed down 2 percent. Property
stocks also dipped 2.3 percent.
** With oil prices in bear territory, the energy sector in Hong
Kong <.HSCIE > also came under pressure, shedding 2.6 percent on
** Patrick Yiu, managing director at Hong Kong-based CASH Asset
Management, blamed global investors' concerns over a Fed rate
hike in December as the culprit for the drop in local stocks.
** "The Fed didn't sound very hawkish last night, but the market
reaction was hawkish," said Yiu. "Imagine what would happen if
the Fed started sounding hawkish next month."
** The Fed held interest rates steady on Thursday but remained
on track to continue gradually raising borrowing costs, pointing
to healthy economic prospects that were marred only by a dip in
the growth of business investment.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index
was weaker by 1.4 percent, while Japan's Nikkei
index closed down 1.1 percent.
** More downward pressure could be in store for Hong Kong
equities, if the short-term U.S. treasury yield curve draws
closer to inversion, Yiu added.
** The yuan was quoted at 6.9443 per U.S. dollar at
08:30 GMT, 0.15 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.934.
** The three biggest H-shares percentage losers were Guangzhou
Automobile Group Co Ltd, which was down 6.1 percent,
China Merchants Bank
Co Ltd, which fell 5.8 percent,
and China Vanke Co Ltd, down by 5.1 percent.
** At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.8
percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
(Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)